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Published December 14, 2012, 12:00 AM

Esther Hovda

Esther Hovda, age 94, of Valley City, ND, died Wednesday, December 12th at Eventide Hi-Acres Nursing Home in Jamestown, ND. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, December 18th at St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Valley City. Visitation will be held on Monday from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Lerud Schuldt Funeral Home in Valley City and one hour before the service at the church on Tuesday morning. A prayer service will be held at 7:00 PM Monday evening at the funeral home. Interment will be in St. Catherine's Catholic Cemetery.

Esther Theresia Price, the daughter of Frank and Leopoldina (Schlegel) Price, was born December 10, 1918 near Fingal, ND. Esther enjoyed working in the fields as a youth, especially working with horses and putting up hay. In the winter, the school bus was an enclosed horse-drawn sleigh. Because they spoke German at home, she had to learn English language skills when she started school. She attended Lucca High School and graduated as valedictorian of a seven person class in 1936. After high school, Esther worked at farms in Jessie and Casselton, and St. John's Hospital in Fargo. She later moved to Valley City where she worked at the Kindred Hotel, Ben Franklin and The Fair Store. Esther also volunteered at the Nearly Nu Store until her late 80's and was a lifelong blood donor. She married James Hovda in 1953 and remained on the farm north of Valley City after James died in 1997. She loved being in the kitchen, logging weather and animal sighting on her database of calendar notes and bible annotations. She was capable of outside work as well, towing son John's stalled pickup a distance of half a mile at the age of 89. Esther and John moved to an apartment in Valley City in 2010. Esther was a deeply religious and was an active and long-time member of St. Catherine's Catholic Church. She was also a member of the Foresters for over 70 years. She was a sweet, gentle and kind lady who was full of optimism and always looked for the best of people with never and unkind word about anyone.

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