Madison - Esther Pleyte, a resident of Oakwood Village, passed away Sept. 15, 2016 after almost 100 years of enjoying life.
Born in Fond du Lac on Nov. 10, 1916, daughter of the late William and Bessie Miller, Esther spent the first half of her life in Milwaukee, moving to Madison with her family in 1961. Esther's life revolved around family, friends, church, music, traveling and gardening. She could never turn down a road trip, especially enjoying outings with the extended Pleyte family and becoming an international traveler in her 60's, taking more than 10 trips with a UW travel program, and with friends through Elder Hostel. She frequently flew to California to visit her late sister, June Hillis, and son, Jim, and family. She was a member of Kingsley Methodist Church in Milwaukee and Bethany Methodist Church in Madison where she sang in both of their choirs. She also contributed her talents to the Madison Civic Chorus, Madison Civic Opera and the Chorus and Choral Union of the UW. She was a long time member of the Westside Gardening Club, often hosted bridge parties and took up lap swimming in her 70's. In addition to her travels with the UW, Esther also attended many of their lectures and slide shows. Upon making Oakwood her residence since 2008, Esther had the pleasure of the company of many of her long-time friends, especially that of Earl Thayer and the late Helen Thayer and appreciated frequent visits from her son Bill and other Pleyte relatives.
Esther was married to the late James R. Pleyte Sr., was the sister of the late June Hillis and is survived by her son, Jim Pleyte and daughter-in-law Florence Kellor Pleyte of California, son Bill Pleyte of Madison and granddaughter Marla Pleyte, great-granddaughters Evelyn and Elisabeth Oprea and grandson-in-law Ryan Oprea, all of Santa Barbara, California, plus several Pleyte nieces and nephews of Wisconsin and nephew, John Hillis, of California.
Esther will be buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison. Friends and relatives are invited to join the family in celebration of Esther's long and fruitful life at a Memorial Service to be held at Bethany United Methodist Church, 3910 Mineral Point Rd, Madison, WI 53705, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 with visitation at 10 a.m. The Memorial Service will take place at 11 a.m. followed by a reception at the church.
Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road
Madison, WI 53705