Esther J. Brant, 83, of Peoria, passed peacefully with family by her side on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
She was born on March 19, 1937 in Champaign County to William and Bertha (Watson) Force. She married James F. Brant in Champaign on July 16, 1955. He preceded her in death on March 29, 2018. Her parents, six siblings and an infant granddaughter also preceded her in death.
Surviving are her three sons, Kerry (Jennifer) Brant of Brimfield, Perry (Cathy) Brant of East Peoria and Larry (Janette) Brant of Peoria, eight grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, with one on the way and many nieces and nephews.
Esther taught hundreds of children to swim during a 40 year career in Champaign and at Willow Knolls Residents Recreation Association Pool and Robert A. Jamieson School for the developmentally disabled in Peoria, until her retirement, after which she worked for several years at Kohl's Department Store in Peoria.
She was an exceptional seamstress, quilting dozens of beautiful blankets, including making a special one for each new children coming into the family. She also loved gardening as evidence of her wide variety of plants and flowers, as well as, hosting family gatherings and doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Esther attended St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Peoria. She was a member of the Peoria Evening Garden Club, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, where she taught CPR and the Linus Project, where she sewed countless blankets while socializing with her many friends. Esther and Jim enjoyed traveling to Ireland, Germany and within the United States, during their retirement.
She was a beautiful person, both inside and out and loved her family, passionately. She was a strong woman with a heart of gold and will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.
Cremation rites have been accorded and a Celebration of Esther's Life will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made in Esther's memory to Lutheran Hillside Village or OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
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