KEARNEY — Esther May (Gass) Shannon, 81, of Kearney died Thursday, July 23, 2020, at her home.

Graveside services are 10 a.m. Tuesday at Kearney Cemetery with the Rev. Ken Hutson officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Kearney American Legion Post 52 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 759 in conjunction with the United States Navy Funeral Honors Team.

Visitation is 3-6 p.m. Monday at Craig Funeral Home in Minden.


Esther was born on Jan. 8, 1939, in Kendalia, Texas, to Erwin and Ella (Kneupper) Gass. She grew up in the Kendalia and New Braunfels, Texas, area and attended school at Kendalia for a few years and later earned her GED. She entered the U.S. Navy, where she faithfully served in ship to shore communications from Oct, 28, 1960, to Oct. 25, 1963.

She married Leon Howard Shannon on Feb. 12, 1971, in Irving Township, Kansas, and to this union three children were born: Steve, Gail and Jill. The family made their home in Hiawatha, Kansas, where she was a homemaker, farmer and rancher.

Esther was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Hiawatha, where she enjoyed teaching vacation Bible school and Sunday school, especially the Book of Esther. She was an avid reader. She enjoyed sewing, gardening, embroidery, being outdoors, fishing, hunting, watching birds and other wildlife and crossword puzzles. She enjoyed serving at the Brown County Historical Society and was a member of the American Legion.

Survivors include: her son, Steve Shannon of Kearney; daughters, Gail (Alan) Mais of Heartwell and Jill Shannon of Garland, Utah; grandchildren, Riston, Zander, Connor and Lyra Mais; and brothers, Freddie (Charlotte) Gass, Jimmie (Brenda) Gass and Ronnie (Connie) Gass.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

Memorials in Esther’s honor are kindly suggested to her granddaughter, Lyra Mais, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June. It was her wish that memorials be to Lyra for her continued care.

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