Esther Katherine (Wilhite) Baenisch, 97, passed away peacefully at the home, on February 17, 2013. Esther was born to Charles and Clara (Harms) Wilhite, August 2, 1915, in Kansas City, Missouri. She was raised by her beloved mother Clara and lived in Kansas City all of her life. As a young woman, she met and fell in love with Ernest R. Baenisch. The two were married on October 19, 1940, and were blessed with two children, Julia and John. Ernest passed after only 14 years together, leaving Esther to raise their two young children as a single parent. She was a devoted, loving and selfless mother to her children and raised them with the assistance of her mother, Clara. To support her children and mother, Esther worked as a secretary for Farmers Insurance Company for 50 years before retiring at the age of 70. The years brought many happy times, as well as hard times for Esther, as a single parent and provider, but Esther's love for her family and her faith was strong. She relied on her faith throughout her life to see her through rough times. She was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Prairie Village since 1958.
I Corinthians 13: 4-7: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." This was Esther – our mother, grandmother, friend.
Esther is survived by her daughter Julia B. Gilliland, husband Ken; son John Owen Baenisch, wife Karen; granddaughter Heidi C. Ulmer; grandson John Ryan Baenisch, wife Amanda and their daughters (great-granddaughters) Victoria and Lilly.
Services will be held on Friday, February 22, 3:00 p.m. at Mt. Moriah & Freeman Chapel, 10507 Holmes Rd. Visitation hour is immediately preceding services and burial to follow service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Greater Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 1111 Main Street, Suite 450, Kansas City, MO 64105.