Garner Funeral Service

10 Lawrence Ave, Potsdam, NY


Esther M. Charlebois

Passed away on June 7, 2020

Obituary for ESTHER M. CHARLEBOIS June, 2020

Esther M. Charlebois passed on peacefully June, 7, 2020 at the Maplewood Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Canton, NY. Born September 11, 1923 to parents Roy and Ida Grandy, she lived an active and full life for 96 years. Most important were her family and her deep faith and she regularly attended mass at various North Country parishes. She graduated from Norwood High School in 1941 where she excelled as a student and enjoyed playing basketball. As the demands for our country increased with the start of WWII, she worked at the Alcoa Aluminum plant supporting the war effort from 1943-45. She married Joseph F. Charlebois in January, 1946 and together they started the Charlebois Nursing Home on Market Street in Potsdam. They had 5 children: Mari-Jo (Joe) Harney, John (Muffy) Charlebois, Dan (Ann) Charlebois, Patsy (Lauris) Kelly, and Joe (Pat) Charlebois. Soon to follow were her beloved grandchildren and then great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Joe; daughter, Mari-Jo Charlebois Harney; and three sisters: Thena Trimboli, Mary Emburey and Laura Fullerton. Along with her busy family life, Esther managed to fit in a variety of interests and activities. Their house was a regular gathering place for her children’s friends, and if they were still there in the morning, everyone could count on a made-to-order breakfast. There was always something good to eat in Nuey’s kitchen – morning, noon or night. She was an avid fan of all community sports teams, as well as college sports and knew the names and numbers of most local athletes. Esther was a frequent visitor to Pine Street Arena where she watched many local games from her favorite place along the boards. She regularly became involved in family sporting activities and she could throw a mean spiral too! The family lived at Higley Flow for several years in the 1950’s, before it was fashionable and later summered there. The sandy beach attracted dozens of cousins and friends and she served as lifeguard. Not many knew that she couldn’t swim herself! In later years, Esther was active with senior citizen groups and greatly enjoyed travel, serving as sole driver to Florida many times, sometimes driving a large Winnebago all over the South. Interests included camping, frequenting antique auctions, US and overseas travel with friends, and always the birds. She could identify many North Country birds and southern shorebirds by sight and sound. Several of her family members are carrying on her love for finding “new” species. She often served as driver for road trips with many of her friends – whether it was to find a particular patch of pussy willows in the spring, a rare apple at an orchard in the fall, or to try a new restaurant or an old favorite for lunch. Nightly meetings at McDonalds with the “crew” were high points for years and she missed those times when she moved to Maplewood. Her family – children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have wonderful, happy memories of Nuey. We all miss her.

There will be no calling hours at this time. The family hopes to gather later in the summer when travel for out-of-towners is safer and easier. If desired, memorial donations can be made to Helping Hands of Potsdam, Inc. (PO Box 92, Hannawa Falls, NY 13647) or to The Potsdam Snack Pack Program (200 Market St. #228, Potsdam, NY 13676). Arrangements are entrusted to the Garner Funeral Service. Thoughts, memories, and condolences can be shared @www.garnerfh.com.


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Esther M. Charlebois

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Steve Emburey

June 22, 2020

To my cousins Johnny, Danny, Patsy, Joey and their extended families,
I'm so sad to hear of my dear Aunt Esther's passing but heartened to know she went peacefully with family nearby. My childhood memories of summers at camp remain my favorites and I'm so happy that we stayed in touch in recent years. I can still feel my amazement when she texted me for the first time! I'll miss our visits which typically started at Sergis (where she was appropriately treated like royalty) and ended with a drop off at McDonalds. Trips up there will never be the same.
With love and respect,
Stevie Emburey

Shirley Warden

June 18, 2020

our love of Esther has so many good memories and we told everyone what a great lady. the day @lunch when she told everyone about pounding on the glass @ the arena @ Cornwall to try to straighten the hockey fight and leave her. INNOCENT grandson. tears were running dow n John and Anne face. I loved spending time with her everyday it was worth a fight on some days but especially when she said thank you to me. Enjoy all your memories


Mary Bradshaw McNally

June 14, 2020

Dear Charlebois Family,

I’m saddened to hear about Esther’s passing but certainly know what a full life she had! She and my mother were inspirations with the many adventures they embarked on together. May we all live so long and enjoy our time as much!

I love the photograph of her that you have posted here - with her radiant smile!

All the best,

Mary Bradshaw

Jim Stafford

June 13, 2020

John, and siblings: Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your mother. She was a wonderful lady, always full of life. I am sure she will be missed by all of you as well as many in Potsdam. I hope you all can find peace in this time.

Jim & Betty Stafford

MaryAnn S. Blair

June 12, 2020

Dear Ann, Dan, John, Muffy & Charlebois Family,

My heart is heavy for your loss. Esther was a special part of our family. One of mom's dearest friends & travel companions, friend to all of my siblings who attended school in Potsdam & Canton, & I worked at the Nsg Home back in 1977.
There was nothing as comforting as her smile. Cherish every moment you had with her. Our prayers are with all of you.
MaryAnn S.

Tom Nystrom

June 12, 2020

I enjoyed knowing and seeing Esther at all the sporting events through the years, especially the hockey games at Pine Street Area. Please accept my condolences.

Eliot Dickson

June 12, 2020

John, so sorry for your loss. As the priest said at my mom's funeral, she lived a long and happy life but your mother is your mother and you only have one. No time is a good time to have her taken from you. Condolences and prayers.

Mary Jay Lenhardt (Casey)

June 11, 2020

So sorry for the loss of this lovely woman. She was always so nice to me when I stopped in to see my old buddy Danny. Later she was one of the "luncheon ladies" group that my mother was part of. Mom always looked forward to those monthly luncheons and Esther was sorely missed when she moved to Maplewood. I did get to visit with Esther for a short time when Mom went to Maplewood. She may have been in a wheelchair but she was just exactly the same to talk to and interested in what was new with me as she was all those years ago when I was one of Danny's friends. Heaven will be an even better place now that Esther is there

Kathy Benham

June 11, 2020

It was a privilege to get to know Esther during this past year or so at Maplewood. She and my mom became residents there at about the same time and shared a table in the dining area for several months. Esther always found a way to keep smiling. We had conversations about horses, cats, dogs and Saints hockey, both wishing they could pull it together and have a better season. I will miss those chats. Rest in peace my friend.

Bill Coakley

June 11, 2020

Wonderful lady who led a very special life. I met Mrs Charlebois at a pee wee hockey tournament in Lake Placid competing against her son John. We hit it off and a life long friendship developed (much to John's chagrin ). A fixture at most all athletic contests in the area Mrs Charlebois made the North Country a better place. She will be missed. My condolences to the entire family.