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Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips


- December 2, 2019

Esther was born September 28, 1923, in Hong Kong (HK) - the third child of missionary parents, Albert and Rose Etta Reiton. She attended school in HK until the family came back to the U.S. where she completed high school in Pasadena, CA. Esther returned with her family to HK and was there until WWII, when they were held as prisoners of war and then released back to the U.S. At that time, Esther stayed in the U.S. and attended nursing school in Nampa, ID.

Esther returned to HK in 1946, and worked with her parents, as a single missionary. She was in charge of an orphanage, and then went on to work as a nurse for many years, doing many types of nursing, mostly with children. During the first few years back in Hong Kong, she was reacquainted with a fellow missionary's son, and was married on February 23, 1949, to Howard L. Phillips, in Hong Kong. Esther and Howard had 5 children, all born in HK. They served as independent, (but completely dependent on the Lord) missionaries for over 40 years.

In 1967, they moved back to the U.S. and served as Missionary/Pastor in California and Illinois and then moved to South Dakota in 1973. They pastored at Prairie Home and Opal Community churches. They especially enjoyed helping with Release Time in the schools, VBS and camp at Cedar Canyon Bible Camp. They felt led to return to HK in 1979, to complete their work as missionaries. In 1987, they retired from HK and moved back to SD, and pastored at the Fairpoint Community Church, until they moved to Sturgis, SD, and lived there until Howard passed away in 2002. They were married for 52 wonderful years.

In 2004, Esther moved to Olympia, WA, to be near three of her children. Esther lived in Olympia until she went to be with the Lord, on November 22, 2019, joining her husband, Howard; daughter, Doris; great-granddaughter, Payton; and her parents and sisters, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by her children, Betsy (Ron) Woolsey, NV, Len (Marlene) Phillips, WA, Maggie (Rick) Wallach, SD, Miriam (Lyle) Weiss, SD, and Marc Leastman, Mexico; 13 grandchildren and their spouses; 17 great-grandchildren; and her sister-in-law, Bobbie Phillips, FL.

A memorial service will be held at a later date with arrangements through Kinkade Funeral Chapel, Sturgis, SD.

A memorial has been established for Cedar Canyon Bible Camp, 17010 US Hwy 212, Faith, SD 57626.



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