Esther M. Kragh

Esther M. Kragh, age 95 of Jordan, entered eternal life on Saturday, March 9, 2019. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 11AM with a visitation starting at 9:30AM all at Fish Lake Immanuel Lutheran Church, 20200 Fairlawn Avenue, Prior Lake. Esther will be laid to rest at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery. Pastor Brent Parrish will preside.

On February 9, 1924 in Camanche, Iowa, Esther was born to parents Christian and Ida (Stuedemann) Paysen. Along with her brothers and sister, Esther grew up in an old stone farmhouse in Clinton county. During her youth, Esther participated in 4-H and she developed an appreciation for nature.

One of the most trying moments of Esther’s life happened on her confirmation day. Her brothers Leonard and Edward accidentally died after being electrocuted. While difficult, Esther relied on her faith to persist. She continued to have a strong faith throughout life.

Following her high school graduation, Esther attended Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. She eventually returned home to assist her family on the farm and complete her education at Iowa State. Esther graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics.

During World War II, Esther worked at DuPont in Clinton. While the job was typically considered more suitable for a man, Esther’s knowledge of chemistry qualified her for the position. Later, Esther began working for the Pillsbury test kitchen in Minnesota.

While attending church near the University of Minnesota, Esther met Lyle Kragh, a student from the medical school. The couple married on August 5, 1951 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clinton, IA. Esther was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She always enjoyed baking and even participated in the Pillsbury Bake Off Contest, ranking in the top 100.The family enjoyed spending time at their cabin south of Jordan. Most weekends were spent maintaining the property, going on nature walks, and hosting family, friends & church youth groups. With her grandchildren, Esther enjoyed picking raspberries and asparagus.

In retirement, Esther and Lyle traveled extensively. One of their most memorable trips was sponsored through the MN Landscape Arboretum. Both having a background in agriculture, they joined a group tour exploring dairy farms across South America and Asia. She was a member of Fish Lake Immanuel Lutheran Church since moving to Jordan.

Esther is survived by her children, Carl (Katherine) Kragh, Jean (Brian) Manke, Patricia Kragh, Rebecca Kragh, Thomas (Peggy) Kragh; grandchildren, Tristan Knight, Samuel Kragh, Deirdre Kragh, Kara Manke, Terren Manke, Neil Manke, Natali Kragh, Kyle Kragh; great-granddaughter, Claire Knight; sister, Elsie Wigdahl.

Esther is preceded in death by her husband, Lyle; parents, Christian (Ida) Paysen; brothers, Albert, Leonard, Edward Paysen.

A special thank you to Ridgeview Home Support and Hospice for all the care and consideration given to Esther.

Arrangements with Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation, Jordan Chapel.



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Condolence Messages

  1. We loved Esther and Lyle and got to know them during our couples Bible study. They were great thoughtful people who I dearly miss. I pray that you will be comforted by the sure hope of everlasting life in Jesus. God Bless.

  2. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

  3. doris kragh -tyler mn

    my love and sympathy to all of esthers family

  4. Dave & Kay Kulics

    We met Lyle & Esther when we moved to their neighborhood in Jordan. They were wonderful & welcoming showing us around the trails & pointing out all of the natural flowers & plants they loved. Esther loved looking out their window watching the eagles & deer.
    We pray for comfort & memories filled with love & laughter for the family. Both Lyle & Esther are now your Angels.

  5. My sincere condolences to all members of Esther’s family. I will be out of town and unable to attend her funeral. My family had the privilege of being Esthers friend for 30 + years. Lyle and Esther hospitality, compassion, and love of nature were unparalleled.
    My best horse rides were on their property. The Kragh’s always suggested new places to ride and made many trails for us horse riders. We always enjoyed their company at our after the ride gatherings.
    Esther also opened her home for the fund raiser for Jordan’s all night graduate party. She was an amazing person.
    When development of the property began, Lyle and Esther transplanted many of their precious plants and wildflowers to our property
    My family will always cherish all the memories.

  6. Carla (Krog) Thein

    Our sympathies to your family . Esther was always a classy and welcoming lady. I hope your many wonderful memories give you peace at this time.

  7. Laurie and Bruce Matson

    Lyle and Esther back in the late 1980s early 90s opened up their beautiful property to my husband Bruce and I to cut down all the dead trees and harvest the wood. It was so beautiful there and Lyle and Esther loved showing us around the property and showing us the best Raspberries to pick. We greatly enjoyed cutting wood there and getting to know Lyle and Esther. RIP Esther and Lyle.

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