Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Esther N. Deines
Newhall School Teacher, Administrator (Ret.)

Longtime Newhall resident Esther Deines passed away Monday, June 29, 2009 after suffering a massive stroke. Esther was born in Emporia, Kansas on November 11, 1921. She was 87 years old.

Esther graduated from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas where she majored in Home Economics and Languages. She was an active member of the Singing Quakers and the rowing team. She met her husband Harold Deines while attending Friends University and was married on January 1, 1944. They lived in Wichita until 1951 then moved to Tucson, Arizona prior to their arrival to Newhall in 1954 where she began a life long teaching career.

She began working at Newhall Elementary as a librarian and retired as an Administrator of Curriculum. She also taught at Golden Oak Adult School and was an instructor for Pepperdine University. Esther received her Masters degree from the University of Southern California and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study education in India. Her India trip was one of her most treasured memories. Esther was a member of Who's Who of Women, along many other professional groups, including Delta Kappa Gamma and the California Retired Teachers Association.

Esther began her faith at an early age. Her father, Reverend Clinton Nellis was a Quaker minister. She was a member of the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church. She started attending in 1966 and enjoyed singing in the choir. She served many duties in the church along with being a member of the prayer chain, grief counseling, singles group, and bible study groups. Esther had a life long relationship with God and was always willing to share her love and passion for the scripture.

Esther never quit her love for teaching she was active at the Senior Center and the Visually Impaired Support group. She enjoyed working with the Friends of the Library. Esther also had a very successful Amway business and enjoyed seeing her customers up until her passing. Esther will always be remembered for her passion for life, music and flowers.

Among those who survive and gratefully shared her life is her son: Glenn Deines and wife Mary of Santa Paula, California. Daughters: Sylvia Wortman and husband Keith of Fairplay, Colorado. Myrna Litt and husband Bill of Valencia, California. Grandchildren: Nathan Litt and Aaron Litt of Valencia, California. Step-Grandsons and their wives, Mark & Melanie Chisholm of Santa Paula, CA, Brad & Kate Chisholm of Ventura, CA, Eric Harms of Valencia, CA and Mark Harms of Reno, NV. Esther will be greeted in heaven by her parents Clinton and Lora Nellis, brother Robert Nellis, husband Harold Deines, and her daughter Anita Barnes.

A celebration of her life will be held at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church in Saugus on Sunday July 12 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Esther name for the music programs to the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church 26640 Bouquet Cyn Rd., Saugus, CA 91350 or Friends University 2100 W. University St. Wichita, Kansas 67213 attention "Singing Quakers."

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