Esther Eleanor Homme

September 18, 1922 - July 8, 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Esther Eleanor Homme (née Anderson). Esther died peacefully at The Golden Plough Lodge, Cobourg, Ontario, her home for many years. She now joins her beloved husband, Robert Mandt Homme, previously deceased. She will be greatly missed by her daughters Ann Homme and Ruth Jones, son Peter Homme and his wife Colleen Homme (née Jameson). Also grandchildren Meta Hoepfner-Homme, Paul Hoepfner-Homme, Elizabeth Barlow, Hanna Caruso and her husband Paul Caruso, Rebecca Jones, Daniella Homme, step grandchildren Emilie-Claire Barlow, Angus Barlow, and great-grandchildren Quanah Shotwell and Roselyn Dougherty. Esther was pre-deceased by her eldest son Richard Homme and his wife Eva Hoepfner.

We would like to convey the unique spirit and life of Esther. Esther was born in Stoughton, Wisconsin. She was one of only a few non-Norwegians in the area but that didn't stop her. She was an honor student throughout high school and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a science degree. Her early career was as a bacteriologist. She also specialized in home economics – a serious endeavor at the time. She was married briefly to Howard Hanson, who was a pilot in World War II. He gave his life for his country. She had been a childhood friend of Robert Homme and they married. Robert began The Friendly Giant television program at the University of Wisconsin, and Esther was instrumental – a creative partner – in its inception. In 1958, with four young children, the family moved to Toronto, Ontario when Robert was offered a two year contract to tape the television show there. The family remained in Canada due to the success of the show and Esther raised the children while pursuing her other interests, mainly organic gardening – before most people knew what that was. She was involved with the Civic Garden Centre in Don Mills and was acting president one year. Esther was a 'rock hound' and collected rock samples on family driving trips to Lake Superior. She also polished and cut them. She was a wonderful cook and skilled at sewing. She loved birds and animals and was never without a dog or two. Very few people know about any of this because Esther was quiet about herself, her talents and accomplishments.

Esther's family background was intriguing. Her mother Florence was an extremely interesting woman – a church organist and an artist. She, too, had an eye for beauty. Esther, through her mother's family, was related to the poet Emily Dickinson. Esther never talked about things like that because she was too busy ordering from her seed catalogues. She was humble in the best sense of the word – not unduly impressed by names or titles. She was the soul of simplicity. 

Esther was much loved by the caregivers at The Golden Plough. She made it a habit to thank people for their efforts and was known for singing songs at the drop of a hat. We will all remember 'Row, row, row your boat.'

The family would like to thank all those employed at The Golden Plough who demonstrated such wonderful love for Esther. We would also like to thank fellow resident John Meacham (recently deceased) for looking out for mother and being a kind friend.

There will be a memorial gathering for Esther at Kathryn McHolm's garden, 4749 County Rd. 2, Port Hope (village of Welcome), from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 22.

Donations can be made to World Wildlife Fund Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, or the Canadian Council of the Blind.

My mother knows the weather
Follows wind, plan of rain
Watches cloud, shade of sky
Is friend to frog and butterfly
Fern, fiddlehead, forgotten stream
Moss, leaf, the variegated green
Of quiet creation
It is her station
Sentiment set in plain observation.

Memorial Gathering
Kathryn McHolm's garden, 4749 County Rd. 2, Port Hope (village of Welcome), from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 22.

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