Ethel Clare Estep, 86, of Vestal, died on February 8, 2021 when she was ready to go home to her Lord and Savior. In her final days she was comforted by her loving family as she prepared to join those who have gone before her. She is predeceased by her husband of 57 years Robert L. Estep, parents John and Christine Perko, and siblings John Perko, Rosemary Fillon and David Perko.
She leaves behind her sister in law Susan Perko, children Greg (Charleen) Estep, Christopher (Robin) Estep, Roberta (Eddie) Watana, Carol Simek Estep, Matthew (Jeanne) Estep, Rita (Keith) Barney, and grandchildren Damita (Kevin) Malinowski, Brittney Greene, Patrick Staudt, Lilly Staudt, Ryan Staudt, Alex Baur, Megan (Nicholas) Warren, Alexander (Laura) Papagno, Christina Papagno, Emma Watana, John Joseph Simek, Peter Simek, Andrew Simek, Anna Simek, Meghan (Kyle) Hanlon, Brandon Leary, Matthew Estep, Elisabeth Estep, Katherine Estep, Zachary (Jessica) Barney, Allison (Mack) Loyd, Hannah (Landry) Jarvis, and great grandchildren Cameron Malinowski, Ryne Warren, Anna Warren, Leah Warren, Phoenix Barney, Claire Barney, Ashlyn Barney, Tristan Barney, Weston Loyd, Mason Loyd, Column Jarvis, Clover Jarvis and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Born in Bridegport, Ohio, Ethel graduated from Saint John’s High School and worked for a short time for Aetna Insurance Co. On Christmas Eve, she went on her first date to Midnight Mass with Bob Estep who became the love of her life. They married and moved to Elm Grove, WV to start their family. After a time, they relocated to Vestal, NY where they became longtime residents and raised their six children.
Ethel was an active member of the Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church in Vestal. where she served as a choir member, cantor, eucharistic minister and as the Director of Religious Education for many years. She was also a longstanding member of the Altar & Rosary Society. Ethel was known for her lovely soprano voice and was often asked to sing at weddings, funerals, and celebrations of life. She donated her time and talents for arts and crafts to the annual church bazaar where her beautiful pinecone wreaths were the most sought-after items.
But her real loves were her family. Ethel devoted countless hours to attending her children’s and grandchildren’s various events. Whether it was concerts, plays, sporting events or dance recitals Ethel made sure she had the best seat in the house – she was their biggest fan. She doted on her grandchildren whenever she had the opportunity as she would cook and bake delicious meals that all would savor. Everyone had a special seat at her table, with a plate prepared just for them, and no one left hungry.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday 10 am at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 801 Main Street, Vestal. Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in her memory may be made to: The Congregation of Saint Joseph (Sisters of Saint Joseph), 137 Mount St. Joseph Rd., Wheeling WV, 26003; or www.csjoseph.org/make-a-gift.