Esther Joan Gabhart

Nov. 9, 1932 — March 16, 2019

Esther Joan Gabhart, 86, of Winamac, went to be with Jesus on Saturday, March 16, at her home.  

Esther was born on Nov. 9, 1932, in Grandville, Michigan, to the late Rev. Renus and Alida VanAsselt VanDerLey. She graduated from Gulfport High School in Gulfport, Mississippi, and received training at Midwest Bible and Missionary Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. On July 11, 1953, in Akron, Ohio, she married Lt. James H. Gabhart, who survives.  Esther assisted her husband in various parts of the local ministry and religious activities in the U.S. Air Force and in the churches which he pastored for more than 60 years. She also served two years as chairman of the GARBC – IFRBC Ladies (which consisted of 126 churches in Indiana).

Esther worked as a supervisor at G.L. Perry in Winamac for 5.5 years and as a deli clerk at Sanders IGA in Winamac for 7.5 years.  She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  

She is survived by her husband Dr. James H. Gabhart of Winamac; daughters: Patty Hansen of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Della [Dave] Myers of Francesville, and Alida [Roger] Mays of Delphi; son James H. [Lorri] Gabhart II of Sun City, Arizona; 15 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents Rev. Renus and Alida (VanAsselt) VanDerLey; son-in-law Chris Hansen; brothers: Ray VanDerLey and Paul VanDerLey; and sister Ruth Reed.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Frain Mortuary in Winamac. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 22, at Frain Mortuary in Winamac, with Pastor Bill McNabney officiating. Private burial will take place at Winamac Cemetery in Winamac.  

In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorial contributions may be made to the Baptist Children’s Home in Valparaiso.

Online condolences may be offered in the guestbook at

(Pulaski County Journal — March 20, 2019)

Pulaski County Journal

114 W. Main Street
Winamac, IN 46996

Office Number: (574) 946-6628
Fax Number: (574) 946-7471

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