Esther Libby Surber, 96

| June 18, 2020 1:00 AM

Esther Libby Surber, 96, passed away at Luther Park Assisted Living Apartments in Sandpoint, Idaho on June 8, 2020.

Esther was born on May 30, 1924 in Westbrook, Maine near Portland to Merle and Effie Libby. She grew up with an older sister, younger brother, and years later, a baby brother.

After graduating from high school, Esther continued her education at University of Maine, Orono. Here, in 1946, she was one of two women that year to earn a BA in Mathematics. Esther met her future husband Robert Surber, a Californian, at a college dance. Bob was stationed in Eastport, Maine while serving in the Navy during World War II. Being a great letter writer, Esther kept in touch with Bob throughout the war, even while he was stationed in Guam. Evidently, these letters kept him interested because after the war, he returned to Maine. There, Bob married Esther in Groveville in June 1948. They remained married until his death in 1993. Shortly after the wedding, the newlyweds returned to Bob’s hometown of Redondo Beach, California. Esther worked for Jack Northrop in the newly emerging aviation arena as a mathematician until leaving to raise her three children.

Home is where Esther became the benevolent CEO of the Surber household. With her quiet sense of humor and calm loving manner, Esther kept everything running smoothly. We are all grateful for her instilling in us kids her down to earth, steadfast, and practical New England values.

Esther and Bob enjoyed living near the ocean taking daily walks along the sand. Esther was a loving wife and dedicated mother. Being a good sport, and an excellent campsite host, Esther was a vital part of our family activities. These included many camping, water skiing, and other adventurous trips much to the delight of us children.

Esther is survived by her older sister Shirley Davis of Harrison Maine, brother Howard Libby of Groveville Maine, daughters Janet Abromeit (Brian Sturges) of Hailey Idaho, Shirley Moore (Don) of Sagle, Idaho, and Mark Surber of Santa Cruz, California. Also, by five grandchildren Steve Moore, Sarah Moore, Andrew Moore (Brooke), Alex Surber, and Nick Surber.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bob, brother Ben, son-in-law Doug Abromeit, and daughter-in-law Bonnie Surber.

After happily living in sunny California for 58 years, Esther once again lived in a colder climate by moving to Sandpoint, Idaho for her last decade. She enjoyed being close to family and experiencing all 4 seasons. Esther will be reunited with her husband as she is to be buried beside him at Green Hills Memorial Park, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Family and friends are invited to sign Esther’s online guest book at www.coffeltfuneral.com.

Arrangements are under the care of Coffelt Funeral Service.