Esther Anna (Schmitt) Blair was the epitome of grit, a modern-day pioneer woman, a natural goods artisan, a mother, sister, grandma and a German-dumpling maker-extraordinaire. She was born Nov. 14, 1931, in Chehalis, Washington, to William and Gertrude Schmitt, of Harmony, Washington. She passed away on Dec. 8, 2022, in Wenatchee, Washington. Esther, affectionately nicknamed Grandma E, was surrounded by family and love, in the days leading up to her passing.
Esther, a deep rooted Washingtonian, married Roy Blair in 1958, who passed away in 1974. She lived in Toledo, Washington during this time. Nearly a decade later, she would find companionship with her partner, Jack Shortley in Port Hadlock, Washington. Her grandkids grew to know him as Grandpa Jack. He passed away in 2007. She lived a strong, independent life, up until a very sudden change in her health brought her to Wenatchee recently.
Esther was an artist. All of her materials came from the land, as she had a deep connection to it. It is incredible to see what she could do with a piece of burled wood and a lot of patience. The waters of the Puget Sound was her happy place. You could often find her fishing, crabbing or digging for clams around the Port Hadlock and Townsend area. Her garden seemed to always be in blossom and her jams were particularly tasty. She took pride in hardwork and getting her hands dirty. Esther’s favorite hobby, however, was bragging about her son, Dale, and the rest of her family. She was so proud of the people who collectively make up her legacy.
She is survived by her son Dale Blair (Kim), of Wenatchee, Washington; brothers Bill Schmitt (Lisa), of Napavine, Washington and Al Schmitt (Jean), of Centralia, Washington; stepchildren Gary Blair (Sharon), of Napavine, Washington, Larry Blair, of Newport, Oregon, Allison Shelton, of Benton, Louisiana, and Bill Shortley, of Snoqualmie, Washington; grandchildren Anna Dundas (Brady), of Cashmere, Washington and Katrina Blair, of Wenatchee, Washington; great-grandchildren Ella Dundas and Amelia Dundas, both of Cashmere, Washington; special friend and caregiver Kandi Coulter, of Port Hadlock, Washington; and many other relatives and friends.
Esther requested no service of any kind. We are respecting her wishes. In lieu of flowers, she requested donations to OlyCAP/Tri-Area Community Center for senior activities (P.O. Box 207, Chimacum, Washington, 98325). This was a place that brought her joy, friendship and meals for years of appreciated service.