Esther Marie (Godfrey) Watton, 93, of Eau Claire, went home to be with her Lord and loved ones, who had gone before her, on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Esther was born on February 13, 1925 in Wales, North Dakota and then moved with her family to Antler, North Dakota, where she grew up. She married her husband, Archie Watton, on November 3, 1941. They moved to their family farm in Mondovi, Wisconsin and lived there until 1958. It was in 1958 that Archie, Esther, their 5 children, and Grandpa Herman moved to Eau Claire.

When her husband Archie sustained a back injury and later became disabled, Esther went to work to help provide for their family. A couple of her places of employment were Fabri-tek & Sacred Heart Hospital. She retired from Sacred Heart Hospital at age 72 after 22 years as a respiratory therapist. Esther was a hard worker and was always available to help anyone in need.

She loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and was proud to be part of a fifth generation. Esther had a deep love for her Lord and was a “Prayer Warrior” for her family. She was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish for many years. There she served as a communion minister and was an active member of “The People of Praise” prayer group. She recently became a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Altoona.

Esther is survived by her children: Darlene (Robert) Brummond of Eau Claire, Daniel (Patricia) Watton of Chippewa Falls, David (Angela) Watton of Grants Pass, Oregon, and Denise Gilchrist of Eau Claire; great grandson, Cody Moyer, whom she helped raise; daughter-in-law: Glenice Watton of Fall Creek; grandchildren: Annette (Jeff) Paffel, Anita (Lee) Fairbanks, Angela (Richard) Dolan, Dennis (Brenda) Brummond, Andrea (Scott) Bonebrake, Donovan (Jessica) Brummond, Jeffrey (Debra) Watton, Jacqueline (Willis) Moulton, Jessica (Jason) Heidtke, Joel (Jill) Watton, Michael (Darja) Watton, Rebecca Watton, Bethany Watton, Christina (Ian) Kemmer, Thalia Watton, Melissa Watton, Matthew (Petra) Watton, Jacob Watton, Sabrina Gilchrist, and Grant Gilchrist; thirty great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and more on the way. She is also survived by one sister, Rowena Cantarella, many nieces, nephews and special family friends: Nancy, Anne, and Michelle.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Archie; three sons: Donald and pre-mature twin babies, Dennis and John; son-in-law: Gary Gilchrist; granddaughter, Lindsay Moyer; parents, James and Alice Godfrey and six siblings: Richard, Alice, Walter, Edward, Patrick, and Rita.

Esther lived alone in her own home until 3 months ago. We wish to thank her caregivers and physical therapists at Oakwood Villa in Altoona. Also, to her caregivers and friends at Our House Memory Care Center in Eau Claire. Thank you for your special care, love, and friendship. Finally, during the last few days of her life, we so appreciate the care and love she received from the nurses, aides, and caregivers at Sacred Heart Hospital. You all have a special place in our hearts.

A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Altoona with Father Derek Sakowski officiating. Visitation will take place at church from 10 am until the time of the funeral mass. Burial will follow services at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Eau Claire. Friends and family may leave online condolences at


  1. Dear Denise and family,
    We were sorry to hear about Esther. I enjoyed working with her and seeing her at Church. I will always remember that she taught me to play cribbage. She was a special lady and she was a role model for our Parish.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Jim and Kathy Klees

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