Esther Lena Adams

September 16, 1939October 20, 2013

Esther Adams lived life to the fullest. She is probably looking down on all of us, sorry that she can’t give us the tight loving hugs that she was famous for, wondering why we’re making such a fuss, but happy that instead of mourning our loss, we are celebrating her life with a joyous event and continuing to tell stories about how she touched us, made us laugh, and enriched all of our lives.

She was beautiful, funny, feisty, and loving. She was generous beyond compare – not so much with material possessions but with her affection, warmth, and spirit. When Esther entered a room, you knew it: her smile and personality lit up that room and outshone even the brightest colors in her wardrobe.

Her passion for helping others extended beyond her immediate family and friends. She was everyone’s “mom” or “grandma”, and everyone from her neighbors to old coworkers to strangers she met walking her dog knew she was someone special.

She joined the military at age 18 and was stationed in San Diego at MCRD and made her mark by being the first woman in the U.S. Marine Corps to drive a jeep there – not a small feat for someone who was less than 5’ tall. Her stature did not match the other large accomplishments in her life: she raised three children, four grandchildren, was a teacher’s aide in a Special Education classroom for many years.

Esther is survived by son Jimmy, daughters Missy and Cindy, grandchildren Nick, Molly, David, and Eric (whom they affectionately called “Babbles”), best friend and Marine bud Mary, and a loving Bichon Frisée Marci. She is also survived by brother Earl, sisters Rosalie and Sylvia, and ex-husband Jim. There are countless others whom Esther considered her family – she was everyone’s biggest fan, and they were hers.

There will be a celebration of life on Sat., Oct. 26, 2013, at 3:30pm in Mission Bay Park, San Diego. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation that supports local San Diego children or any other charity that resonates in your heart.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, October 26, 2013

Esther Lena Adams

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October 28, 2013

i met Ester at Highlands Ele. Nick and Joliene were in the same class. You were such a great mom and a wonderful grandmother. You took such good care of Nick and Molly. You will be missed my friend. I remember her wit the most. She always made me smile.
Denise Kosar


October 26, 2013

Esther,my angel forever.

Nana Cleo and Bob Gribble

October 26, 2013

Nick and Molly,
We wish we could be there today to give you hugs. Having a whole country between us makes that a little hard to do. We have a couple of special memories: Bob and Nick in the back of a pickup truck out in the desert and Bob and Molly in a waiting room one evening in San Diego. Just close your eyes and maybe you'll feel our arms around you.
Yes, you miss your Babbles, but this is only a temporary separation. All our paths will cross again someday. So, until we meet again ...
We love you.
Please contact us.

Vickie Waite

October 26, 2013

I first met Esther when our children were in elementary school together at Avondale. She was a wonderful person, and we were always working on PTA projects or school projects. I will miss just knowing she is out there if I should need her. GO 49ers.

Cristina Ablaza Hazirovic

October 26, 2013

Esther was the original Tough Broad, One of the Girls, Sassy Lady. Her spirit and humor are sorely missed in this world, and her unparalleled selflessness has left an indelible impression on all those she met... We love you, Esther.

Cathy Rodriguez

October 26, 2013

A beautiful lady in every way. Esther was truly larger than life, a person who could make anyone smile. James, Carlo and Family - you have lost a wonderful Mom and Grandma but you have countless memories, and are all truly fortunate to have had the best. Her warmth, love, sweet energy and caring spirit will always be with you.

Brenda Bracken

October 25, 2013

Esther truly made this world a better place. Her genuine love and caring for people was so evident in her everyday actions. She enveloped my family with love and support and I will truly miss her..Prayers for comfort for the family..Brenda Bracken

Lani Cerasaro

October 25, 2013

Esther Adams was one of the warmest and sweetest colleagues I have ever worked with. She effortlessly made a significant difference in the lives of countless students and staff. Her 24 hour smile is forever etched in my heart and I'm truly grateful for the honor of working with her. She made this world a far better place! I will miss you Esther! <3 Lani

Jana Wilson

October 25, 2013

My thoughts are with you and your family. Esther was a wonderful spirit and it was always inspiring to see how she worked with her students. She was very matter of fact, but also there to offer hugs and support when her students needed it. I am so glad to have known such a remarkable person.

john costanza

October 25, 2013

I will cherish the memory of mine neighbor and (sister) all way made me laugh and that hug and kiss on the lip.