MISSOULA — Esther Anne Irene Chessin, 52, passed away September 5, 2017 at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. Esther was born October 1, 1964 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Meyer (Mike) and Florence Chessin. The youngest of five siblings, Esther was a life-long Missoulian and had wonderful opportunities, living in Romania, Israel, France, and Hawaii.
Esther attended the Universities of Hawaii Honolulu and Montana (Missoula), earning a B.A. in social work. She married Patrick Ball in July of 1989 and spent over a year living with Pat in California, enjoying the rich life of the Bay Area. The young couple returned to Missoula and pursued their educational and business interests. Esther and Pat purchased Bernice’s Bakery in 1996 and put considerable energy and thought into growing the business. Esther and Pat were later divorced. The business was sold in 2004.
Esther met Dave Johnson and their daughter, Isabella, was born in 2004. Esther was a devoted, nurturing mother and lovingly provided a special needs home. Dave separated from Esther several years later.
Health and wellness were primary to her life and she devoted herself to consulting and advising on nutrition and personal products. An excellent cook, caterer and host, a good party was important to Esther, both for herself and all those attending. Cancer became the ultimate battle and she suffered three rounds of cancer treatment.
Esther was physically active throughout her life with tennis, hiking, swimming, cheerleading, and most recently dragon boat racing. She sang in high school choir and played the piano.
Esther is survived by daughter Isabella, parents Meyer and Florence Chessin, brother Bert Chessin (wife Carol,) sisters Sonia Chessin and Meta Chessin, brother Saul Chessin (wife Valerie,), nephews and nieces Ethan, Samuel, Mati, Jacob, Dustin, Celia, Laina, Hannah, and Joshua; and grandnephews Frank and Ira.
Throughout her life Esther touched many lives. She was an outstanding employer and mentor, and inspiration to generations. Her love, attachment and recognition of Missoula’s special character were fundamental to her. She helped strengthen the Missoula community.
A celebration of Esther’s life is planned for October 1, 2017. Details to be provided. Donations are accepted at the Missoula Federal Credit Union to a fund for Isabella Johnson.