Esther Henning


Esther Marie Reade Wilson Henning, 94, of Greentree Assisted Living, Columbus, met her Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face Friday, September 16, 2016.

She was born March 10, 1922, in Youngstown, Ohio, to the Rev. Frederick and Mabel (Shay) Reade. She grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she graduated from the Daniel McIntire Collegiate Institute in 1938. At age 19 she moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she received her R.N. from Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. For the next 5 years, she was head nurse on MGH’s neurosurgery floor.

Esther married the Rev. Thomas J. Wilson in Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 10, 1952. Together they served pastorates in White Lake, New York, Youngstown, Ohio, and, from 1967 to 1991, at Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, New Concord, Ohio. From 1970 until her retirement in 1987, she was head nurse of the student health center at Muskingum College. Following Tom’s death in 1996, she married the Rev. Robert A. Henning May 2, 1998, and moved to Columbus, Indiana, where she was active in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Columbus Lions Club and Meals on Wheels. Bob died in 2015.

Esther was also preceded in death by son, Paul Wilson, and sisters, Ruth Reade and Lois Boal.

As a nurse, she valued precision and bedside manner; as a homemaker, cleanliness and tidiness; as a traveler, adventure; as a hostess, gathering as many as possible around the table. As a mother of children pursuing their careers, she wrote long newsy letters signed with “much love.” As a grandmother, she valued fun. As a Christian, she pursued her relationship with her Lord via worship, Bible study and prayer.

Esther is survived by daughter, Beverly Brown of Lombard, Illinois; son, Galen (Betsy) Wilson of Dayton, Ohio; stepsons, George (Carole) Henning of La Canada, California, Carl Henning of Rochester, Minnesota, and Will (Marie) Henning of Columbus; grandchildren, Meredith (Seth) Maddox, Lydia Brown, Charles Brown and Thomas Brown; stepgrandchildren, Catherine Henning, Robert Henning, Andrea Henning, Ashleigh (Don) Misson, Adrienne Henning and Christine (Corey) Hennessy; and great-grand and stepgreat-grandchildren, Sofia Maddox, Hazel Maddox, Owen Hennessy, Liam Hennessy and Hannah Misson. She is also survived by brothers-in-law, Cargill (Barbara) Wilson and James (Bonnie) Henning; sisters-in-law, Joan McReynolds, Carolyn (Daniel) Harkins and Clara (Donald) Lowe; and lifelong best friend, Amy (Clifford) Fowler.

Special thanks to Esther’s dear friends, Jane Mellinger, Robert and Lynn McCracken and the Scott and Laura Decker family, for their years of loving care and fellowship.

A memorial service will be held at Columbus Reformed Presbyterian Church, 550 N. National Road, Columbus, IN 47201, at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 8, with the Rev. Robert McCracken officiating. A reception will follow at the church. Burial in Bloomfield Cemetery, New Concord, Ohio, will be at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Columbus Reformed Presbyterian Church or Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, 5650 Cambridge Road, New Concord, OH 43762.

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