Esther Matilde Puram Jansing

  • Born: February 13, 1937
  • Died: January 16, 2021
  • Location: Owensboro, Kentucky

Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory

900 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303

Tel. (270) 683-1505

Tribute & Message From The Family

Esther Matilde Puram Jansing passed away peacefully at Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky early on Saturday, January 16, 2021. She was 83 years old. Esther was born in New Rochelle, New York, on February 13, 1937, to the late Freda Luise Staiger Puram and the late Krisjan Puram. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Cornell University -New York Hospital School of Nursing and a Master of Arts degree in Nursing Education from Columbia University Teachers College, both in New York City.

In 1960 she married C. William Jansing, M.D. They had three children, David, Kristin, and James. They lived in New York City, and Richmond, Virginia, before settling in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1969.
In addition to her family, Esther's passions and interests have centered mostly around education, music, and the arts. She spent many enjoyable moments using her talent in watercolor and oil painting and enjoyed some success in both areas.

As a child Esther found much pleasure in music. She enjoyed playing the violin and guitar. She frequently visited the public library to borrow recordings of classical music. Years later she joyfully discovered the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. She served on its Board of Directors and was President and an Honorary Life Member of the board. She was convinced of a strong connection between music and educational success, and advocated for music in schools. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church choir, the Owensboro Symphony chorus, and the Owensboro Choral Society, singing in the Messiah.

She was instrumental in the beginnings of the Leadership Owensboro program and a member of its guiding group. She subsequently served as its Executive Director for a number of years. She served as a program director for the Chamber of Commerce of Owensboro and in this position helped initiate the present Green River Area Community Foundation and was its first Executive Director. She served as the first Executive Director of the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation as well. Esther was a 2004 graduate of Leadership Kentucky and a Kentucky Colonel. Esther was an active member of the Citizens Committee on Education and the Formula for the Future program. At the state level she was on the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education and The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Esther is survived by her husband Bill, her son David (Karen) of St. Louis, daughter Kristin of Owensboro, and son James of Maitland, FL, granddaughter Hannah Smillie (Kain) of La Mesa, CA, granddaughters Jaclyn of Denver, CO, Kylie of San Francisco, CA, and Makenna of St. Louis, and step-grandson Justin Grich of St. Louis.

Esther was an exceptional Mother and Grandmother. She was loved by all and will be remembered especially for her cheese grits, Williamsburg rice, and baked Alaska Melba. She was a good and caring friend to everyone she knew. Her person will be loved and her memory will be cherished forever.

A public memorial service will be scheduled for the future as permitted by public health restrictions. In lieu of flowers, gifts to your favorite charity or educational, musical, or arts organization would be appreciated. Care is by Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory. Memories and messages of condolence for the family of Esther Jansing may be shared at

Condolence & Memory Journal

We recently learned of Esther's passing. Esther and Bill were some of the first friendly faces I met in Owensboro 30 years ago when I moved to Kentucky for my first job out of college. She was such a wonderful person and made us feel so welcomed to the church when we attended. She and Bill attended our wedding 26 years ago. The world is a little emptier without this beautiful lady- our deepest sympathy to Bill and the entire family. God be with you during this difficult time.

Posted by Jennifer Wilson - Bowling Green, KY - Friend   February 21, 2021

I will miss Esther in the alto section when Symphony chorus can rehearse again. I always tried to sit beside her because I enjoyed talking with her and appreciated her sense of humor immensely. Through the years I learned about the ways in which she enriched this community (I never heard about any of it from Esther though - just from others who knew of her many contributions). I'm grateful to have enjoyed her friendship. Blessings to you and your family

Posted by Katherine Cooke - OWENSBORO, KY - Friend   January 28, 2021


Wimpy and I are are deeply saddened to hear about Esther. She was the epitome of a lovely lady and I always enjoyed talking to her. You and the rest of the family are in our thoughts and prayers. Also, I would be honored to help arrange music/ musicians for her memorial service. Much love, Kirsten and Wimpy

Posted by Kirsten Ahnell - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 23, 2021

Dr Jansing and family, Mrs Jansing was always such a fine lady. I enjoyed seeing her at symphony chorus practice. I know she will be missed greatly. You will be in my prayers. Mary Ann Thompson

Posted by Mary Thompson - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 22, 2021


My deepest condolences to the Jansing Family.
I was a classmate of Jamie. Very sorry for your loss.

Prayers, Scott Marksberry

Posted by David Marksberry - Owensboro, KY - Classmate   January 22, 2021

We enjoyed talking with Esther during our years in Owensboro. We will keep her and the family in our prayers, Bill.

Posted by Sam & Kathy DunLany - Louisville, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

Dearest Bill and Family,
Omar and my heart felt love and prayers are with you all at this time. Esther was truly a wonderful
Charles O. and Ann Wilson. Spring Hill, FL

Posted by Omar & Ann Wilson - Spring Hill, FL - Friend   January 20, 2021

Esther made a memorable impression on me in many ways. In her various roles at the Chamber, I looked up to her consistent example of leadership and professionalism. She engaged those around her with gracious enthusiasm and a welcoming smile. Esther was truly a community icon. May god wrap Bill, and the family, in peace and comfort during this time.

Posted by Ramona Osborne - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It was always a pleasure to see you and Esther at KWC games and hospital events.

Posted by John and Vicki Hast - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. It was always a pleasure to see you and Esther at KWC games.

Posted by John and Vicki Hast - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

I was so so sorry to hear about Esther's passing. She was a great lady with much talent and lots of class. She was always so pleasant. I will miss her. May God give you and your family peace..

Posted by Jane Smith - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

Esther was a wonderful person. I had the pleasure of working with her on various community projects, and recently, enjoying games of Words With Friends! She will be missed.

Posted by Cheryl King - Prospect, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

Dr. Jansing,
I was lucky enough to know Esther from singing with her to cheering at the KWC games with her. She will be miss. Steve and I will pray for your comfort during this time of saying goodbye to your lovely wife.

Posted by Steve and Peggi Clark - OWENSBORO, KY - Friend   January 20, 2021

Dear Bill,
We were so sorry to hear about Esther. I so enjoyed singing with her and you over the years. May God comfort you and your family as you grieve her loss.

Posted by Carol and Randy Wolfe - Hoover, AL - Friend   January 20, 2021

We are so sad to hear about Esther. May God bless everyone.
Lane and Bill Langford

Posted by Lane and Bill Langford - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

Dr. Jansing, so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Martha Ahring - Rockport, IN   January 19, 2021

Esther was a great friend and a wonderful person! Praying for Bill and the rest of the family.

Posted by Tom Shelton - Lexington, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

Dear Bill.
So sad and heart stricken to hear the news of passing away of dear Esther She was a true cultural icon. You guys were dear friends and I am honored to have known you guys through GRADD and other community organizations. It was she who reached out to me to get involved in Citizens committee of Education, Owenssboro Symphony, Green River community foundation among several initiatives in the area. She loved public service and will be truly missed. Our sincere condolences to you and the family.
If there is anything we could do to lessen the burden, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Jiten and Kathy Shah

Posted by Jiten Shah - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

Dr. Jansing, so very sorry to hear of you and your family's loss. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Posted by Sharon Harrington Cooper - Philpot, KY - Coworker   January 19, 2021

I will always think of Esther singing with the choir. She was a beautiful soul inside and out. She would light up a room when she entered with that amazing smile. My heart goes out to the family! I know how deeply she will be missed!! My prayers will be with you all.

Posted by Karen Smith - Southlake, TX - Friend   January 19, 2021

Bill, My condolences on your loss of Esther. And, my thoughts go out to your entire family as well. Esther was a cultural lion for the Owensboro community. I personally enjoyed working with her on the Owensboro Pubic Art Commission and always pleased to see you and her at art exhibition openings and public art unveilings. I also appreciated your long-term membership in Preservation Alliance of Owensboro-Daviess County.

Posted by Gary Adams - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

It was always a pleasure to talk with Esther....and to see her beautiful smile....and to remember the Friendship Force trip to Italy.....Truly will miss her..Richard E. Brown....May the Lord Bless the family...

Posted by Richard Brown - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

Sorry for your loss. I met your mother through Leadership Owensboro.

Posted by Annette Heisdorffer - Utica, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

My heart goes out to the family in the loss of Esther. I knew her thru various organizations, especially the Citizens Committee on Education, and she so impressed me with her dedication in all of her community work and her warm and caring personality.

Posted by D Ellen Basham - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 19, 2021

What a loss for you and the entire Jansing family. Esther was a rock for the entire community that you shared so gracefully. Her work continues to shine brightly. Please know of Karen and my prayers and thankfulness for everything she has meant.

Posted by David Danhauer - Owensboro, KY - Coworker   January 19, 2021

On behalf of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the Order offers its deepest condolences and is proud of a life well lived by Colonel Jansing. Her passion and leadership for arts and culture has made a forever impact on her community.

Sherry Crose, Executive Director
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels

Posted by Sherry Crose - Louisville, KY   January 19, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss. Remembering you all in my prayers during this difficult time. May God bless each of you with strength, peace and understanding only he can give.

Posted by Vickie Thomas - Owensboro, KY   January 18, 2021

Owensboro was a better place because Esther was here. She brought so much to our community. We both enjoyed her part in Leadership Owensboro. I enjoyed her at the Y. Whatever was good, she seemed to be here. She was a treasure and will be missed.

Posted by Tom and Judy Dixon - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 18, 2021

I am so deeply sorry. Mrs. Jansing was a beautiful, kind, inspirational woman of whom I thought so much. She always had a smile and a word of encouragement.
My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

Posted by Debbie Zuerner - Owensboro, KY - Friend   January 18, 2021

She gave so much to her adopted community. A truly wonderful person who was always a joy to work with on any project. My sincere sympathy to her family.

Posted by Bud Young - Floyd, VA - Friend   January 18, 2021

Family Album