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Esther Adell Underberg, 87


Esther Adell Underberg, the daughter of the late Edwin and Olive (Oaks) Lilja, was born April 4, 1929, at Grygla, Minn. As a child, she moved with her family to the Caribou community east of Lancaster, Minn., where she attended school and grew to womanhood. She moved to Lancaster as a young girl so she could work for her room and board while attending high school there. Esther was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. After her schooling, she worked as a waitress in Greenbush, Kennedy and Roseau, Minn.
On June 10, 1949, Esther was united in marriage to Milton Underberg at Zion Lutheran Church near Karlstad. The couple lived on the Underberg farm in Arveson Township until moving into Karlstad in 1956. They spent winters in town and summers on the farm until 1960 when they purchased the present Underberg home in Karlstad where Esther had resided for the past 56 years. Milton passed away March 20, 1993.
Esther was employed at the former Engen Drug Store for several years. She was a long-time member of First Lutheran Church of Karlstad and of WELCA, serving as President for several years. She was a member of the Karlstad American Legion Auxiliary and of the Karlstad Senior Citizens Group for many years, serving as President. She has resided at the Thief River Care Center, Thief River Falls, Minn. since November 2016, and passed away unexpectedly there  Wednesday morning, March 8, 2017, at the age of 87 years, 11 months and 4 days.
She is survived by her children: Jim (Sherry), Sioux Falls, S.D.;  Joy  (Phil) Underberg, Karlstad, and Jay (Jennifer), Pembina, N.D.;  five grandchildren:  Lee (Jennifer) Underberg, Jon (Melissa) Underberg,  Teri (Eddie) Filmyer, Jessica Awes, and Johanna Martin-Underberg;  five great-grandchildren:  Kylan, Lyndon,  Bree, Judd, and Eddie V;  one sister: Lettie (LeRoy) Larter, Lancaster; one brother: Ron (Rita) Lilja, Mendota, Ill.; four sisters-in-law: Gladys Lilja, Charlene Lilja, Melbelyne Underberg and Mayme Underberg;  one brother-in-law: Alfred (Sandy) Underberg;  in addition to several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Esther was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, two brothers: Larry and Ted; and one sister: Marge.
Funeral services were held Monday, March 13, 6 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, Karlstad. Pastor Mark Helgeland officiated,  Eric Finney, soloist.
Honorary casket bearers were  Esther’s fellow members of the Karlstad Senior Citizens Group.
Interment will be at Karlstad Cemetery, Karlstad, Minn.
Arrangements with Collins Funeral Homes, Middle River, Greenbush, and Karlstad. An on-line guest book is available at

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