Esther Mary (Emmons) Papin, 100, beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, died on October 27, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph E. Papin, Jr.
Esther was the daughter of Manford Marion Emmons, Sr. and Maria Guadalupe Navidad Emmons. She was one of 13 children. She grew up under harsh conditions on a farm in Buckeye, Arizona, in the Great Depression. There she would help bring in income for the family by picking cotton and tending the beehives, extracting honey. There was no running water or electricity. Esther loved school as it was an escape from the hardships of farm life. Her faith in God also sustained her, then, and throughout her life.
Esther was the first in her family to go to college. But, having set an example, every sibling after her went to college as well. She knew she wanted to be a teacher at an early age and, after receiving a scholarship, earned a degree at Arizona Teacher’s College in Tempe, Arizona. She also received a Master’s Degree in Spanish from Middlebury College, Vermont, and studied Spanish literature at the University of Mexico in Mexico City.
She spent 6 years teaching Spanish to junior and senior high school students at Ajo Public School and at West Phoenix High in Arizona.
In 1949 Esther met her future husband, Joseph Papin, and they were married in 1951. In 1954 they moved to California and settled in La Mesa, California. There they raised 4 children, one son and three daughters.
Esther continued to have a passion for teaching throughout her life. She taught her own children and grandchildren Spanish and would tutor Spanish to students in her home. She imparted the importance of an education to all her children and always took a great interest in their studies and achievements.
Her faith in God was unshakable. She would actively participate in church activities throughout her life, and imparted her faith to her children as well.
Esther is survived by her loving children, Michael (Mary Elizabeth), Mary Theresa LeDuc (Gene), Ruth (George), and Francie Lis (John); as well as 5 grandchildren, Christie (Jon), Laurie, David (Sonia), Gabriella, and Noah; and 2 great grandchildren, Abigail and Daniel. She will be very much missed as the great matriarch that she was.
Vigil Service, Rosary and Eulogies, Monday, November 6 at 6 p.m., Featheringill Mortuary, 6322 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego.
Funeral Mass, Tuesday, November 7 at 10 a.m., Our Lady of Grace Church, 2766 Navajo Road, El Cajon.
Burial Service following funeral Mass, Holy Cross Cemetery 4470 Hilltop Dr., San Diego.