Rev. Esther Lu Lasher

The Rev. Esther Lu Lasher, 94, of Damariscotta, died peacefully with her loving daughter by her side the afternoon of Sept. 3 at Hodgdon Green in Damariscotta, her home for the last four years. Lu was born in Denver to Lindley Pim and Irma (Rust) Pim on June 1, 1923. She grew up in Denver and graduated from East High School. She earned an associate degree from the Colorado Women’s College in 1943, a bachelor’s degree from Denver University in 1945, and a master’s degree in religious education from the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1948. Her goal was to become a minister, but the Baptist denomination did not ordain female ministers at the time, so she became a Christian education director. Her first job was as the Christian education director at the First Baptist Church in Evansville, Ind. She met Donald T. Lasher in Indiana. They married at the church April 9, 1950. The Lashers lived in Indiana until 1954, when they returned to Denver. In 1968, they moved back to Indiana. Along the way, Lu earned her second and third master’s degrees: in library science at Denver University and music education at Butler University. Lu was a librarian for much of her professional life. From 1984-1990, she was the director of the Fulton County Public Library. She remained active in Christian ministry as a church planter in Colorado and Indiana. In 1988, she fulfilled her lifelong goal to become an ordained minister. She was the pastor of the Perrysburg Baptist Church from 1988-1995. She was a leader or member of numerous Christian and civic organizations in Colorado and Indiana, as well as a volunteer literacy coach. She played the violin throughout her life, including as a member of several orchestras. She moved to Maine in 1995 to live with her youngest daughter and her family in South Bristol. She joined the Damariscotta Baptist Church, where she was a deacon. She was a volunteer chaplain for Miles Memorial Hospital, Cove’s Edge, and The Lincoln Home. She was an interim pastor at the United Baptist Church in Lewiston and a substitute pastor at several area churches. She was active in the community as a literacy coach and a volunteer librarian at Rutherford Library in South Bristol. She enjoyed spending time with local students through Miles of Friends, taking classes at Coastal Senior College, and attending programs at Spectrum Generations. She continued to study violin under Ferdinand “Dino” Liva, of the DaPonte String Quartet, and performed in the Seacoast Youth and Community Orchestra and later with Hearts Ever Young. Lu was proud of her education and her status as a woman in the male-dominated Baptist clergy. She urged her children and grandchildren to follow her lead by pursuing higher education and lifelong learning. She was a voracious reader, with interests ranging from scholarly texts on theology to Christian romance novels. She loved dogs, dolls, and sports cars, particularly her 1991 Pontiac Firebird. Her nickname at Hodgdon Green was “Trouble.” She was predeceased by her parents; husband, Donald T. Lasher, in 1982 after 31 years of marriage; sister, Kathryn, who died at the age of 10; brother, Lindley “Sonny” Pim; and daughter, Sarah, who died shortly after birth. She is survived by children, Patricia Becker of Buffalo, N.Y., Donald A. Lasher and wife Sue of Carmel, Ind., Keith Lasher and wife Ellen of Clearwater, Fla., and Jennifer Oliver-Gutgsell and husband Kenneth Gutgsell of South Bristol; 11 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; sister, Joy Childress and partner Bonnie Sloan of Tucson, Ariz.; sister-in-law, Rita Kelly of Evansville, Ind.; and son-in-law, Paul Becker of Amherst, N.Y. A service will take place at 2 p.m., Fri., Sept. 8 at Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Interment will follow at a future date in Uniontown, Ind. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Eldercare Network of Lincoln County, P.O. Box 652, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, Damariscotta.

From: The Lincoln County News, Lincoln County, Main, on Tuesday September 5, 2017

Buried at Foster Ridge Cemetery, Perry Co., IN