Vail Daily obituary: Esther Larson Birk, 1915-2011 |

Vail Daily obituary: Esther Larson Birk, 1915-2011

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Esther Larson Birk

Esther Larson Birk, 96, bedrock of the Birk family, passed away Oct. 16 in Pine River, Minn.

Born in Maddock, N.D., in 1915, Esther spent her childhood in St. Paul, Minn.; Madison, Wis.; and Evanston, Ill. After high school, she managed a Neumode Hosiery store in downtown Chicago. She married Delbert E. Birk Sr. of Wamego, Kan., in 1937. They vacationed in the Brainerd Lakes area, liked it, and in the spring of 1950, with their two young sons Del and Esther moved to Pine River where they bought Camp Show Me, a family resort on Norway Lake. Esther managed the resort, maintained the cabins, and cooked and entertained at The Lodge, the resort gathering place. Her specialty was family-style chicken dinners and weekly potlucks featuring wild game. After closing the resort in the late 1960s, she and Del opened an antique shop.

Esther was strong, clever, industrious, loving, caring, inspiring, joyful and down-to-earth. She had an easy, contagious laugh. She enjoyed reading, hunting, fishing, traveling, and socializing. Her goal was to die young, as late in life as possible. She did it and with incredible grace. Words alone cannot express or detail the many gentle and positive impressions she had on family, friends, and community.

Esther quietly supported many causes. In her time, she was a member of the Eradelphian Club, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the First Lutheran Church of Pine River, Minn., and the mayor of Chickamaw Beach, Minn.

She is survived by sons Delbert Birk, Jr. (Linda), of Eagle and Douglas A. Birk (Lynda Weiss), of Minneapolis; three grandchildren, Carrie Pelletier (Glen), Del “Tug” Birk III, and Cody Birk, and one great-grandson, Hobie Witt, all of Colorado.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Services will be 11 a.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church of Pine River, Minn. Interment will be at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Pine River.

Visitation will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Kline Funeral Home in Pine River, Minn., is in charge of arrangements.

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