Esther Matilda (Bontreger) Horst was born on March 8, 1928, in Shipshewana, Indiana, to the late David and Mary Jones. She was adopted at the age of 3 days by Manasseh and Mary (Hochstetler) Bontreger also of Indiana. She passed away at the age of 92 on June 29, 2020, at the Canon Hospice in Gulfport Mississippi.
She was married November 22, 1951, to Lester Horst of Kansas City, KS; later divorced. She lived in Gulfport, MS for the past 50 years. Esther was an active member of Gulfhaven Mennonite Church. She enjoyed singing with a women’s church group called Seven Sisters.
She enjoyed baking and was known for her bread, cinnamon rolls and cookies. She quilted, sewed and crocheted; made a quilt for each of her children. She walked for exercise and could often be seen walking on the road in front of her home.
She worked in the Harrison County School System as cafeteria worker and later as cafeteria manager. She received the National School Lunch Service Award in recognition of her 22 years of dedicated service to the youth of Harrison County schools.
She was preceded in death by her birth and adoptive parents; her divorced husband; her adopted brother, Vernon Bontreger; and her 13 birth siblings.
She is survived by her five children, Cranson Horst of Brooklyn, MS, Selinda Gretz (Dan) of Gulfport, MS, Delton Horst (Pam) of Southworth, WA, Byron Horst (Carrie) of Gulfport, MS, and Wendell Horst (Brenda) of Cedar Rapids, IA.
Also survived by ten grandchildren, Micah Lewis (Chad) of Gulfport, MS, Sol Horst of Stonewall, LA, Kaelon Horst (Heather—fiancée) of Seattle, WA, Brenna Moulin (Ray) of Gulfport, MS, Jacob Horst of Gulfport, MS, Rebekah Lauren Horst of Gulfport, MS, Oliver Horst (Maggie) of San Antonio, TX, Sterling Horst (April) of Fairfax, MO, Harlan Horst of Duluth, MN, and Adeline Horst of Cedar Rapids, IA.
She also leaves behind eight great-grandchildren, (Clay, Maley, Myah, Melody, Cheyenne, Natalie, Seth, and Ava); two great-great grandchildren (Tripp and Trace); as well as many birth and adoptive family nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, July 6, 2020, at Gulfhaven Mennonite Church, 21497 Mennonite Road, Gulfport, MS. Visitation begins one hour before the service, and private interment will follow immediately after the service.
Riemann Family Funeral Home of Gulfport is serving the family and will live stream the service. The link to the Live Stream will be available below her obituary on the funeral home website on Monday morning. However, due to poor cellular service in that area, the Live Stream feed my not play properly. After the services have concluded and the director returns to the funeral home, the Service recording will be uploaded to website for viewing.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made to Gulfhaven Mennonite Church.
PLEASE NOTE: Out of respect for the current pandemic, everyone is asked to follow social distancing guidelines and masks are optional.