American Patriotic 10

Esther (Jankowski) Voelker

August 25, 1924 ~ May 12, 2022 (age 97)


During the last few weeks of her life, Esther Voelker asked that this detail be placed prominently in her obituary. “Say that I love my granddaughters and my daughters,” she said. On Thursday, May 12, 2022, Esther passed away in her home at the age of 97.
She was born on August 25, 1924, in South Bend, to the late Louis and Lottie (Michalski) Jankowski. On September 30, 1950, as Esther Jankowski, she married William T. Voelker, who preceded her in death on September 6, 2014. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Barbara Buda. Esther is survived by her two daughters, Susan Voelker of South Bend and Rebecca Voelker of Chicago, Ill., and by two grandchildren, Ellen Forrest of Winter Park, Fla., and Melanie Forrest Lattin of Inverness, Fla.
As a young woman during World War II, Esther left her job at Pittsburgh Plate Glass and joined the United States Navy. She completed basic training in New York and was stationed in San Francisco as a yeoman, or as she liked to say, “a pencil pusher.” After her daughters started school, Esther worked as an assistant in an accounting office and later as an administrative assistant with the Modern Woodmen of America insurance company. Besides spending time with her family, Esther enjoyed dining out—a good steak, pizza, and tacos were a few of her favorites.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday May 18, 2022, at the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Dr., South Bend. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022, at St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church, 2310 E. Jefferson Blvd, South Bend. Those attending can meet directly at the church. Entombment with United States Navy Military Honors will conclude at St. Joseph Cemetery, South Bend. (everyone should meet directly at the cemetery) immediately following the Mass. Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice, 230 W. Catalpa Dr., Mishawaka, Ind, 46545. To send online condolences, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Esther (Jankowski) Voelker, please visit our floral store.


May 18, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Kaniewski Funeral Home
3545 N. Bendix Dr.
South Bend, IN 46628

Mass of Christian Burial
May 19, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Anthony de Padua Church
2310 E. Jefferson
South Bend, IN 46615
Guaranteed delivery before the Mass of Christian Burial begins


St. Joseph Cemetery
24980 IN-2
South Bend, IN 46619

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