Esther Retzlaff 87 of Ellendale, ND died Thursday, June 8, 2023 at her home in Ellendale. The funeral is 10:30am Thursday, June 15, 2023 at Zion Lutheran Church, Ellendale with Pastor Paul Preus officiating. Visitation is June 14, 2023 from 3-7pm with a prayer service at 5:30pm at Hoven Funeral Chapel, Ellendale. Visitation continues one hour prior to services at the church. Burial is 1:45pm June 15 at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Aberdeen, SD. Esther’s service will be live streamed here on her obituary page. Arrangements by Hoven Funeral Chapel, Ellendale.
Esther was born May 28, 1936 to John Jr. and Emma (Deutscher) Hoffman in Sacramento, CA. When she was three months, her family moved to Streeter, ND, where she was raised and educated. She was baptized November 1936 at the Evangelical United Brethern Reformed Church in Streeter, ND by Rev. A. Gehring. Later they moved to the Ellendale area where she continued her education. On July 8, 1951 she was confirmed at Evangelical and Reformed Church, Fullerton, ND by Rev. Martin Peper. As a young woman, she was hired as a nanny by several families in Ellendale. The Rollo family was the last one to hire her, since they were instrumental in introducing Esther to Carl Jr. The two were united in marriage on October 14, 1956 at the Retzlaff farm home. Esther worked closely with Carl on the farm for 39 years before moving into Ellendale. Esther was a loving, gentle caring Christian wife, mother, and grandmother. She was an avid gardener showing skills in raising a large garden at the farm to supply the family with healthy food during the summer and winter. She loved to cook, can, bake, sew and keep her home neat and tidy. She loved working along side her husband, Carl Jr. and children farming the land – especially in the spring time when all the baby animals, flowers and gardens came into bloom and fieldwork started. She was a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Albion Township where she was confirmed April 14, 1957 by Rev. Clem Mehl. Later the family transferred to Zion Lutheran Church, Ellendale where she was treasurer for L.W.M.L. Circle III for many years, T.O.P.S. group (the ladies she thought of as a special group of sisters and adored them) and Garden Club. Carl and Esther did a bit of traveling after retirement, bus tours to Canada, California, Minneapolis and Branson which they enjoyed together. She always got her daily dose of her favorite comic strip, Pickles and Blondie. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. Her beloved memory will be forever cherished by her her two children: David (Dawn) Retzlaff, Ellendale, Donna Retzlaff, Ellendale and grandson Isaac Carl Retzlaff whom she thought the world of; one sister: Leona Hoffman, Ellendale; three brothers: Leslie (Karen) Hoffman, Ellendale, Jimmie (Carolyn) Hoffman, Peoria, AZ, and Darles (Coleen) Hoffman, Evansville, WI. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Carl Jr., brothers, Clinton Stanley, Wesley, brother-in-law Emil F. Retzlaff and nephew, Wayne Hoffman.