Esther L. Kaelber

April 27, 1925 ‒ September 12, 2020

Waldo, Ohio

Esther L. Kaelber, age 95, a lifelong resident of Waldo, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Marion General Hospital. She passed with her loving family by her side, following a brief illness.

The oldest of three children of the late Edwin L. and Amelia F. (Heimlich) Beringer, Esther was born On April 27, 1925, in Waldo, Ohio.  She was raised on the Beringer family farm in Richland Township, which had been in the family since it was homesteaded by her great-great-grandfather.

Following graduation from Waldo High School in 1943 as class salutatorian, she started working at Marion Commercial Steel, and for the next 15 years worked as a bookkeeper for them during the challenging times of WWII and beyond.

In her early 30’s, Esther reconnected with an old classmate, hard-working Waldo dairy farmer, Oscar A. Kaelber.  They were married on November 17, 1957, and soon started their family with the birth of two daughters: Margie and Nancy.  Working together on the Waldo area farm, Oscar and Esther shared thirty-seven years of marriage until Oscar’s death on July 13, 1995.

Esther spent her adult life as a Godly and devoted wife and mother, efficiently taking care of her husband, her children, and her home. She always kept the house tidy for their drop-in guests. Most of the family food came from the farm, with Esther growing, canning, and freezing the vegetables from her large garden, gathering eggs from the hens, and Oscar providing the meat and milk from their livestock.  In addition, she also helped with the farming, including tending to the laying hens, driving the tractor, and keeping meticulous track of all of the finances on the farm.  She sewed most of her daughters’ clothes for school.  She was an especially good baker, frequently making family favorites, such as blackberry pie from the berries Oscar and her daughters picked. She also loved growing many different varieties of flowers both indoors and outdoors.

After raising her daughters, Esther enjoyed becoming a grandma to her six grandchildren. They especially remember learning to bake cookies and brownies with Grandma  at her house and going for walks with her around the farm. She always made pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies with candy corn faces for them at Halloween, as well as a variety of festive cookies for Christmas, and apple and pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Holidays were spent at Grandma’s house, laughing, enjoying her homemade food, and playing board games together.

Very faithful to her Savior, Esther was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waldo, where she had served as President of the Women of the Church, served on church council, and was an elementary Sunday School teacher for many years.  She also participated in a Bible Study Fellowship with the Marion First Church of the Nazarene, and was a part of a Sewing Circle with  St. John Lutheran Church /Windfall of Cardington as well as Waldo Mothers Study Club.  After Oscar’s death, she also volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

An avid reader, Esther  enjoyed having multiple books checked out from the Marion Public Library.  In the evenings after a long day of work, she could be found reading a book or her Bible. In later years, she spent much of her time reading. She also loved to crochet, making countless afghans to give as gifts at important moments of her grandchildren’s lives and to share with organizations helping those in need.

Behind her quiet and even-tempered personality, Esther was a fiercely determined and independent woman who demonstrated contentment in all circumstances.  Shaped by a farm childhood during the Great Depression and early adulthood during World War II, she was pragmatic, hard working, and as self-sufficient as possible.  Her family is grateful that she has left the legacy of strength, endurance, hard work, and faith to her children and grandchildren.

Left to cherish her memory are her two daughters: Margie (Tom) Black of Beavercreek, and Nancy Wilch of Delaware; six grandchildren: Heidi, Julie, and Wesley Black, Amanda (Marc Dave) Bien Aime, Abigail (Aaron) Weisberg, and Matthew (Leah DeVore) Wilch; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Besides her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Pastor Daniel Wilch; and two brothers: Robert and Donald Beringer.

Her family will greet friends from 10 – 11:30 am on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at  St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waldo (address below), where everyone is encouraged to wear their masks and practice safe social distancing.  Services honoring her life will follow there at 11:30 am, with Rev. Robert Ohrstedt officiating.  For those unable to attend her services, you are welcome to observe her services through the Snyder Funeral Homes, Denzer Chapel Facebook page, (, with the live stream starting at 11:30 am.  Burial will follow in Waldo Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 162, Waldo, OH 43356.

Her family would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to  her nephew, Ed, for mowing the lawn, her neighbor Donna Barkley, for getting her mail and taking her to church, and the nurses and other staff at Marion General Hospital for their kindness and compassion in her last week of life.

Snyder Funeral Homes, Denzer Chapel, are honored to serve Esther’s family, and your condolences may be expressed to them via

  • May she rest in peace with those that entered Heaven before her. May her memory always be a blessing to her family.
    With love,
    Laura Weisberg

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I have a lot of childhood memories of Esther & Oscar. Sorry I can’t be there.

  • Margie, thinking of you during this difficult time. What a wonderfully written obituary! I am so happy to call you my sweet friend. Please call if you just need to talk. Love you, Lisa (Shirk) Bryan

  • Nancy and Margie and families, Sending our families sympathy. Your mother’s obituary was so well written, the memories of her and your father were so vivid. I remember visiting at your house and all the cousins. Will they be coming for the service? May be able to come to the service depending on health issues if not so glad to be able to view it that day. Your mother enjoyed her church activities and I enjoyed sewing with her when Windfall had sewing days. Our parents were blessed many times
    and may the memories help as you grieve in the days to come. It’s hard, ….

    Marilyn Radel Davis……parents Harry and Grace…..

  • Hi Margie and rest of the family-

    What a wonderfully testimony about your mother. And God blessed her with such long and wonderful life. So glad to read about her and you all in the obituary. May the Lord enable you all to have Service that will honor the Lord and honor and celebrate your mother’s life. She certainly as a Proverbs 31 Woman.

    from GMO.