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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Esther by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“My name is Steve Ingram Esther is my mothers cousin Luverna C Kahler. Luverna is in a care institute in Rapid City SD with vascular dementia....Read More »
1 of 16 | Posted by: Steve Ingram - Fort Pierre, SD

“Loving memories of Esthervbe your treasures and comfort. Prayers sent your way ”
2 of 16 | Posted by: Brenda & Vic Hoffart - Gregory, SD

“So sorry for your loss. Your family is awesome, a family of faith. ”
3 of 16 | Posted by: Shirley Moerike - Gregory

“I'm so sorry to hear of your great loss! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. May many wonderful memories and knowing that she's...Read More »
4 of 16 | Posted by: Donna Harrison - Sioux Falls, SD

“Thinking of you during your time of loss. Many wonderful memories I have of my childhood as the My Grandma and Grandpa Wille'so and spending time...Read More »
5 of 16 | Posted by: Brenda Hansen - Tomahawk, WI

“Please know our prayers and most heartfelt sympathies are with you (the family) Dear sweet Esther is finally at peace with God. ”
6 of 16 | Posted by: Jim and Becky Zirpel - Brandon, SD

“Rest in Peace, Esther! She was such a wonderful woman, I have some great memories! ”
7 of 16 | Posted by: Lorraine Besmer - Custer, SD

“So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother but it is your loss and her gain! We only met her a few times but left a lasting impression. Lucy,...Read More »
8 of 16 | Posted by: Dave and DiAnne Hartman - Barrett, MO

“As a young boy, it was always such a treat to stay with the Brauns, to enjoy the love, joy, and good times. Aunt Esther was very special to me and so...Read More »
9 of 16 | Posted by: Ken Wonnenberg - Pierre, SD

“I have lovely memories of Esther since I was a child. She was always so happy and positive. I especially enjoyed times when her and my Aunt Alvina...Read More »
10 of 16 | Posted by: Marty Wetzler Watson - St. Paul, MN

“I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. Esther was such a beautiful lady with a heart for the Lord and for family. She will be greatly...Read More »
11 of 16 | Posted by: Sherry Kahler Schmidt - Ft. Wayne, IN

“Marlin,Sharon and family,We are keeping you and your family in our prayers during this time of grieving. She will be missed but memories of times you...Read More »
12 of 16 | Posted by: Susan Rabenberg - Custer, SD

“My condolences to Esters family, she was a very kind lady ”
13 of 16 | Posted by: Doris Silling (Freeman ) - SD

“My condolences to the family She made her final journey to the arms of God May that bring you comfort ”
14 of 16 | Posted by: Carol Davis - Dallas, SD

“We were so touched by Mrs Braun's remembrance. We hope that family, friends and faith will be of good comfort. "Far as the heavens are higher than...Read More »
15 of 16 | Posted by: Infante Family - GA

“Oh, how happy Esther must be in her new home!! Her family is in our thoughts and prayers!! ”
16 of 16 | Posted by: Randy and Gaile Sachtjen - Burke, SD


Esther Lindwurm Braun was born Nov. 21, 1924, to William and Lena (Kahler) Lindwurm at their farm home south of Gregory, SD. She was baptized and confirmed in Peace Lutheran Church, Carlock, SD. At 91, she still could recite her confirmation verse: Psalm 103:1-2: "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."

Esther graduated from the 8th grade, then stayed on the farm to help with daily chores. On February 6, 1943, she married Helmer Braun. They lived on various farms in the Carlock area. Together they had five children: Theodore (Ted), Lucille (Lou), Ronald (Ron), Marvin and Marlin. Helmer passed away Dec. 2, 1969. Esther continued to live on the farm until 1976, when she moved to Gregory and found employment at the Gregory Hospital. She enjoyed her work there and remained in that job for 20 years. Her church was very important to her and she rarely missed a service. Esther loved spending time with her brothers and sisters, her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Over the years, she made many quilts for them.

Back in the day, Esther and Helmer sang together a lot. Helmer would play the guitar, Hawaiian guitar, and harmonica, as they would harmonize beautifully together. Toward the end, she still loved to sing, but lamented that her voice was gone.

Eventually, Esther purchased her own home in Gregory. She was a great cook and hostess and entertained many guests there. When her home became too much for her to take care of, she moved into the Nemer Apartments and thoroughly enjoyed living there and playing cards and visiting with her neighbors. She made good friends with the other residents and continued being a hostess and entertaining guests. In May of 2016, she had a stroke and was then unable to live by herself, and so spent the last three months in the Lake Andes Nursing Home and then the Gregory Nursing Home. Not being able to walk and take care of herself was very hard for her, but Esther's faith in her Savior remained strong. She stated four days before her death, "I'm in a lot of pain, but I know it's nothing compared to the pain Jesus went through when he died on the cross for my sins." The nights got very long for her, but she said she got through them by praying continually for her children, brothers and sisters, and every grandchild, great grandchild, and great-great grandchild she had.

On August 27th, she tried to get up on her own, fell and broke her pelvis, and was put in the Gregory Hospital where God called her home to heaven peacefully at 9:40 AM on August 31st, 2016.

Esther is survived by her children: Ted (Janet), Lou (Ralph), Ron (Sharyl), Marvin (Julie), and Marlin (Sharon), 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild, her siblings: Elsie Fode, William Lindwurm, Alvina Wonnenberg, and John Lindwurm, nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Helmer Braun, daughter-in-law Faye, granddaughter Jodi Rae, sisters Rosie Sengelman, Christena (Tena) Neuharth and Ella Hanson, brother Philip Lindwurm, and several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Esther Braun were held Saturday, September 3, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Burke,SD with Pastor David Schmidt officiating. A prayer service was held Friday evening at the church.

Abby Braun and Heidi Lauer were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Randy Sachtjen, organist. Congregational hymns were "Abide with Me," "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," "Amazing Grace," and "God Be with You Till We Meet Again."

Suzanne Braun, Ruth Earls, and Rebecca Davis were in charge of flowers.

Casket Bearers were Brad Braun, Todd Braun, Rick Zimbelman, Scott Zimbelman, Mark Braun, Neal Lindwurm, and Dennis Hanson.

Interment was in the Graceland Cemetery, Burke, SD.