Esther Stickland discovered a love for vocal music while in high school. Through the encouragement of a high school instructor and later a college professor, she studied music at Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas.
The Esther L. Stickland Scholarship Fund was established in 1987 by Esther. Each year, scholarships will be awared to full-time NIACC students majoring in music. The scholarhsip represents Esther's lifelong interest in music. "If a young person has a special talent, it should be developed," Esther said. "I want young adults to have an education; education is essential."
Esther is the daughter of a German immigrant, August Lauterbach, who came to the United States as a young adult looking for an opportunity. Lauterbach wanted his family to have every opportunity and to be exposed to new thinking. He encouraged education, music and travel. Esther said, "my parents felt we should travel, around the world is possible. Now, I have been all ofver the world, but my favorite place is home."
The fourth of five children, Esther was raised in western Kansas. There was a piano in the house and a strong emphasis on cultural advantages. "My mother felt we should always have an instrument in the house, and my father loved music too," Esther said. "I guess that contributed to my love of music."
Esther and her husband, Charles, moved to North Iowa in the 1930's. They raised three daughters, who also grew up with a piano in the house and later completed their own college educations. Esther advised her daughters and all students, "Pursue your interests-whatever they are. Having a special interest is essential in life."
In addition to her family responsibilites, Esther has been active in community affairs. She was an original organizer of the Altar Guild at St. John's Episcopal Church, and she directed the Guild for many years. Esther was active in the YMCA, the Republican Party, and PEO.
At her 100th birthday celebration on May 20, 1997, Esther said, "I have had a good life." She passed away on January 13, 2001 at the age of 103.
Scholarships associated with Anne Cameron