On Friday April 16th, 2021 God called one of his angel’s home. Esther Lee Allen 82, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, passed away surrounded by family in the place she loved to call home. “Lil Esther”, as she was affectionally known, was born to the parents of Elaska Lee Moore and Thelma Clayton on November 13th, 1938. She accepted Christ at an early age and continued to be a proud servant of Cherry Grove Baptist Church until her passing.
Esther learned the value of hard work and devotion to family at an early age. She worked alongside her parents and siblings, who started out as sharecroppers, while attending elementary and primary school at the North Caney Community School taught by Sister Inez Askew, an educator and staple in the community. She then went on to graduate from Douglas High School in May of 1956. Esther continued her education journey while attending Prairie View A&M University for a couple of years in pursuit of a degree in education from 1962 to 1964. After battling hepatitis, Esther came back home to support her family and continued working locally. She married Thurman Allen and began raising her family.
She worked at the HD Lee plant in Sulphur Springs for a few years and then began her career at North Hopkins ISD where she would continue to work for over 40 years. Esther retired once in 2004 and then returned to work, post retirement. Esther supported North Hopkins ISD as the school librarian, teacher’s aide, food service coordinator, school bus driver and overall mentor and encourager to all the students and teachers who crossed her path each day. Esther was famous for being the little woman who drove the Blue Bird school bus for almost 40 years. She made no hesitation to stop her school bus to discipline students in a way that only she could!
Her tenaciousness and strong-willed personality allowed Esther to continue to support North Hopkins even as her health declined and needed a walker until February of this year. Her spiritual gift was encouragement. The words “I can’t” were to never be spoken in her presence. She was a strong advocate of education and even returned to college to continue her studies. Esther believed that everyone should strive to better themselves and better their lives.
Esther’s faithfulness was also shown in her work as church secretary at Cherry Grove Baptist Church for over 45 years, beginning this role in 1976 and serving under 5 pastors. While a member at Cherry Grove, she was also an usher, member of the choir, and served as president of the Women’s Ministry for over 12 years. Esther was a diligent and faithful servant of Cherry Grove Baptist Church. She loved her community and believed that a strong spiritual foundation was the groundwork for a successful life.
Esther was known as a classy, “jazzy” dresser and in her spare time loved to sew, a trip to the casino, traveling with family and church members, a good Butter Finger or Snicker, a cold Pepsi and spending time with family and friends!
Loved ones that preceded her in death include her parents Elaska and Thelma Moore; one daughter Andrea Denise Allen; ex-husband Thurman Allen of Jefferson Texas; one niece Regina Moore; and two brothers James and Wayne Moore, both of Sulphur Springs, Texas.
She is survived by her two children Timothy Allen of Wylie, Texas; Kristi Allen-Edwards and Craig Edwards (Spouse) of Carrollton, Texas; Granddaughter Ashley Wade and Keshianna Hodges (Spouse) of Forney, Texas; her long- time friend Mr. Efton Geary of Cooper, Texas; niece Ann Moore of Sulphur Springs, Texas; and two sister-in-laws Clarine and Faye Moore, both of Sulphur Springs, Texas. As a member of the Clayton family, she is also survived by a host of cousins and extended family members as well as close friends within the North Hopkins community. Esther’s legacy is a testament of loyalty and commitment to the people she loved her family, her church, and the school that provided her with loving friendships and support for over 40 years.
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