He affectionately calls her “momma.”
“She’s a mother type,” said Esther Umphress’ husband, Kennith. “She’s just a sweet, sweet person. If you ever met her, you would fall in love with her.”
He did – 35 years ago.
Esther’s first husband, Kennith’s friend and business partner, had died.
Kennith had returned to Fort Worth from working in Alaskan gold mines. Little did he know at the time, he would discover a gold mine that would change his life.
Kennith laid in bed one night and thought, “It’s time to get serious about life. I need to find somebody to help and somebody to help me.” Next thing you know, he was proposing to Esther.
“I asked her if she would marry me and move out to the country,” he said.
She said yes to both.
They moved to Hood County and have been here ever since then.
Not only has she been helping Kennith, she had been helping many others over the years.
Esther has tirelessly volunteered for many different organizations including the Hood County Committee on Aging, the County Judge’s office, the Granbury Extension Club, the Hood County Extension Education Association, just to name a few.
She was awarded the 2012 Opal Durant Granbury Woman of the Year Award by the Christian Women’s Job Corps.
The award recognizes women who are shining examples of community servants.
One of Esther’s friends, Sharon Adams, moved to Granbury from California and sought volunteer opportunities at the Hood County Senior Center where Esther has volunteered for over 20 years.
That’s where Adams met Esther, who made sure she was introduced to others at the center.
“Esther took me in like a lost child,” Sharon said.
“She introduced me to everybody. I never felt like an outsider.
“She’s just a lovely person – thoughtful and kind. She welcomes everybody with an open heart. She’ a real person and doesn’t put on an act.”
Esther will turn 82 tomorrow.
To Esther: Happy birthday! Take at least one day off, and let somebody do something for you.
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