Esther Emma McCandless

October 13, 1920 ~ January 24, 2019 (age 98)


Esther Emma McCandless, 98, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at Moravian Village, she was it's first occupant. Born in Bethlehem, she was the daughter of the late Lester and Malvina (Felker) Feist also of Bethlehem and resided in Bethlehem her entire life except for 13 years in Bucks County. She was the loving wife of the late William Thomas with whom she shared 36 years prior to his passing in 1976. She was predeceased by second husband, James McCandless, in 1985. Esther enjoyed the companionship of late Richard H. Michael until his passing in 2007. Esther was a 1938 Liberty High School graduate. She attended Le Val Beauty School and opened her own beauty shop. She became a homemaker in 1942 with the birth of her first child. While her children were young she was involved in Cub Scouts, Brownies, Sunday school and served as president of school PTA at Palisades HS. Esther taught English as a second language at Lincoln Elementary School on a volunteer basis for 6 years and was a part time tax account for 5 years. She was a member of College Hill Moravian Church serving as president of Women's Fellowship and serving 3 terms on board of Trustees at College Hill; President of Moravian Congregation of Bethlehem Trustees, and President of Bethlehem Area Moravians. Also, served as a Guide, board member & President of Moravian Museum. She was a board member of Woman's club, and served on 250th anniversary Study committee for Moravian Church which formed Bethlehem Area Moravians. She enjoyed volunteering, reading, gardening, traveling, sewing and quilting and needlework of all kinds including the needle point chairs used in the church. Esther was a wonderful lady who lived a full life serving her family, relatives, friends and community, especially the Bethlehem Area Moravians. Her daughter and son are very proud of their mother.
SURVIVORS: Esther will be lovingly remembered by her son, Matthew Thomas and wife Doretta; daughter, Malvina Rau, wife of David; her sister Elaine Kindred; grandchildren, Kirsten, Gretchen, and William; great grandchildren, Ian Soledade and Tobias Noonan and many nieces and nephews; stepsons, late David McCandless, Gary McCandless, and late Edward McCandless; Larry Michael and Richard Michael, sons of Richard H. Michael ; 6 step-grandchildren; and a number of step great grandchildren. Esther is predeceased by her brother, Lester and sister, Ruth.
SERVICES: A memorial service will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. in College Hill Moravian Church, 72 W Laurel St, Bethlehem, PA 18018. Cantelmi Long Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. A memorial tribute may be placed at
CONTRIBUTIONS: Memorial gift in lieu of flowers may be made to
God's Acre endowment of Bethlehem Area Moravians

Memorial Service

JAN 29. 11:00 AM (EST)

College Hill Moravian Church
72 W. Laurel Street
Bethlehem, PA, 18018

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