Esther Louise Forbes
Madras resident, Esther L. (Henske) Forbes, went to a heavenly celebration with her Lord and savior Jesus Christ on Friday, May 29, 2020. She passed away peacefully at age 95, in her sleep at the home of her youngest son, Gordon, and his wife, Lynn, in Oakland, Oregon. She is also survived by her oldest son, Martin, his wife, Kim, of Boonsboro, Maryland; two grandchildren, Rebecca and Elijah; and her middle son, Byron, and his wife, Julie, of The Woodlands, Texas.
Esther was born in Madras at the farm home of her parents, Robert E. Henske and Katherine M. (Hofstetter) Henske, at SW Bear Drive and SW Culver Highway. Her father was a Madras pioneer, moving to Jefferson County as a young boy before the city was incorporated in 1911. The oldest of three children, Esther was preceded in death by her brother, Norman Henske; and sister, Elsie Williams. As the oldest child on a farm she learned to work hard, tending header on the combine, milking cows; and is one of the strongest people we kids knew, easily tossing 80-pound bags of cement.
Esther started her teaching career early when at age nine she began teaching Sunday School to the younger children on the dirt basement floor of the old Madras Free Methodist Church. She graduated from Madras High School in 1943, at the height of World War II and gained her Bachelor's degree from Cascade College in Portland in 1948. She taught school in Gateway, and Roswell, Idaho, prior to her marriage to Robert (Bob) Forbes of Bend, Oregon, on June 2, 1951. They settled in San Francisco/Daly City, California, where their three sons were born before moving to South Pasadena, California in 1962. She was very active in the lives of her children serving as a Cub Scout den mother, school noon-aid and PTA president. She also led more than 40 teachers of the Hermon Free Methodist Sunday School program and later chaired the Board of Christian Education of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California. She also volunteered as a long-term substitute teacher at the East Los Angeles Light and Life school. Following Bob's retirement as VP of Engineering at CF Braun, they moved back to Madras in 1987 to assist their aging parents. Becoming involved in, you guessed it, the Madras Free Methodist church.
She will be remembered as a wonderful cook (we still cannot duplicate the potato salad for which we have the recipe and closely watched her make), a gracious hostess, wise counselor, beloved teacher and loving mother. We, her children, are blessed by her love, prayers and example.
Due to the current pandemic situation, the community, friends and family will be invited to a celebration of her life in late-May 2021.