A true force of nature, the family sage, a woman of humor and intellect, someone who was always ahead of her time, a forwardthinker, and an inspiration to everyone who knew her, Esther Dimotakis Rundell Peterson lost her fight with cancer on June 1st at the age of 83. Born in Davenport, CA, Esther was the eighth of nine children born to Vasili and Marigo Dimotakis, immigrants from the Greek island of Crete. The family moved to Manteca in the early 1930s, where Esther lived the rest of her life. Esther worked many years at Sharpe Army Depot, from which she retired in the early 80’s. As the last of the six beautiful Dimotakis sisters, Esther willingly stepped in as the matriarch of her big, fat Greek family. For more than a decade she lovingly put together a family newsletter three times a year, and organized the annual family reunion. She never forgot a birthday, anniversary or any other occasion of note. As her sister Rae once said, "You can always count on Esther." Esther was known far and wide for her artistic skills and creative nature. Anyone who knew the family when her daughters were young knew that they were quite often dressed in matching handmade outfits sewn, knit and/or crocheted by Esther. Esther was also known for amazing handsewn and embroidered baby blankets, an annual Christmas ornament, and her beautiful yard and gardens. A lover of travel, Esther accomplished her goal of visiting all 50 states and visited Greece three times with her daughters. Never one to sit still, she relaxed by doing jigsaw puzzles and crosswords, which she credited with keeping her mind sharp. Esther’s passing leaves a giant hole in the hearts and lives of her daughters, Cathy Rundell (John Dunn), Lyn Rundell, Cindy Rundell and Marianne Wallace (husband Gary and sons Zeb and Ben). She was a wonderful Yiayia to her beloved grandkids, Vivien, Iain, & Ruby Dunn, and Adrian Rundell. She also leaves behind her brother George Dimotakis, her adopted “grandson” Weston Monks, and her large extended family, as well as scores of friends and neighbors, her wonderful caregivers (Lydia, Holli, Nadine and Marissa) and the 1,200+ “Fans” of her “All About Esther” Facebook page. She was preceded in death by her first husband and father of her three daughters, Chuck Rundell, and her second husband, William "Pete" Peterson. Esther provided everyone in her life with unqualified love and support, as well as unwavering encouragement for all their endeavors. She had a gift for creating a warm and welcoming environment, and brought a sense of artistry to all she did. Hers was definitely a life well lived. Per Esther’s wishes, burial will be private. A celebration of life will be held for friends and family. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. Services are under the direction of P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home. An online tribute wall is available for condolences and special messages at plfryandson.com. search obituaries.
Manteca (Calif) Bulletin
Sunday, June 5, 2011