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Esther Hyland

Esther Florence Lewis Hyland retired from playing the piano and taking pictures to enter the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on November 15, 2021, at home surrounded by family after a courageous battle with mesothelioma.

Born to Lewis and Esther (Ponto) Lewis on October 10, 1946, in Flandreau, SD, she was baptized on June 15, 1947, at the Wellman Methodist Church of rural Colman.  Confirmed in May of 1960 at the Wellman Methodist Church, Esther joined the Grace Lutheran Church of Nunda in 1966.  She attended Rutland High School, graduating in 1964 and after was employed by Norwestern Bank.  Esther married Raymond Mervin Hyland on January 15, 1966, in Colman Methodist Church, Colman, SD.  They lived on Uncle Bobby’s farm until January of 1972 when they purchased their own farm.  Ray and Esther are the parents of Richard Todd (Kimberly), Ricky Ray (Lori), and Kim Renée.  Their grandchildren are Mackenzie Rae, Madeline Grace, Bailey Ann, Brooklyn Mary, and Ray Ricky.  Her greatest joy was her role as a mother and especially a grandmother.  In her words, grandchildren are amusing, entertaining, and most of all, loved.  Esther loved supporting and cheering for her kids, grandkids, and all the kids and families at school and church events, and she had the pictures to prove it.  She was often the first to arrive and the last to leave and would let you know exactly what needed to be done.  

Esther developed a lifelong love of playing music as a pianist and played for Sunday School and church at Wellman Methodist Church starting at age 12 and then at Grace Lutheran Church, as well as various school activities at Rutland High School, Ramona High School, Oldham-Ramona High School, and community events.  Esther worked at Dakota Chiropractic in Madison for several years and then she worked for the United States Post Office as a postmaster for eleven years in Nunda and as postmaster relief in Ramona and other close by towns as needed.    

Esther had many adventures including numerous trips to Missouri to see family, trips to Florida and Arizona with family and friends, hundreds of ball games, and a special trip to Wales and Belize with family.

Esther was called Sissy by her six siblings: Tom (Lyles) of Stockton, MO; Jim (Anita) of Nevada, MO; Dick of Flandreau, SD; Cheryl of Liberty, MO; Peggy (Lyle) of Rockville, MO; and Julie of Liberty, MO; her mother-in-law, Mary Hyland; her sisters by marriage: Garnet (Rol) Wosje of Nunda, SD; Jane (Paul) Baumberger of Jackson, MI; Doris (Larry) Ust of Volga, SD; Julie (Allan) Gross of Madison, SD; Lisa Even of Sioux Falls, SD; and brother, Randy (Bev) Hyland; and many Hyland, Lewis, and Ponto nieces and nephews and cousins.  

Esther was preceded in death by her husband Ray on January 14, 2018; their first child, Todd Raymond who was born on October 24, 1967, and died on September 30, 1969, in a farm accident; her parents; her father-in-law Mervin; and her brother-in-law Mike Phillips.

Visitation with family present will be on Thursday, November 18, from 5:00-7:00 pm with the prayer service at 7:00 pm at Grace Lutheran Church in Nunda.  Memorial service will be on Friday, November 19, 2021, at 2:00 pm at Grace Lutheran Church in Nunda.  Online guestbook can be signed at  Arrangements are entrusted with Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Grace Lutheran Church, 203 Church Drive, Nunda, SD  57050.

Esther will be best remembered by the words on a sign given to her by a family friend, “I love Jesus and coffee, oh, and naps.”  Esther would say her life was well lived if you act on her advice: “Read your Bible” and “Say Your Prayers.”  From Matthew 25:21, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of thy Lord.’

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