Esther Samuel

Esther Samuel


October 30, 1927 - June 23, 2024


Esther Samuel, 96, of Sioux Falls, SD, died peacefully on Sunday, June 23, 2024, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, surrounded by her family, who stood with her, singing hymns, reciting her favorite scriptures, and sharing memories of her as she left to be with the Lord. Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Monday, July 1, at Faith Baptist Fellowship Church in Sioux Falls. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls. Visitation will be Sunday, June 30, from 2-4:00 PM at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

A live stream of the funeral service can be viewed at:

Esther Samuel was born on October 30th, 1927, to her parents, Yeshvanth Kadana and Lingamma Kadana in Pegadapally, a small town in Telangana, India. She was the sixth of eight siblings, who all preceded her in death.

Esther lived her life on three separate continents and countries, splitting time between India, England, and the United States. She carried the unique experience of navigating life in the metropolitan cities of Hyderabad, India and London, England, and finding nuance in smaller communities such as Burke, Bowdle, and White Lake, South Dakota.

She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India and taught English for 25 years. A particularly impressive feat as English was her fourth language, behind Telegu, Hindi, and Kannada. In 1964 she moved with her husband and two children from Hyderabad, India to Hounslow, a small neighborhood in London, England, where she continued her teaching career. In 1977 she and her husband emigrated from England to South Dakota, so her husband could pursue a career in Methodist ministry. While her husband attended seminary, Esther worked at McKennan Hospital administering heating pads to patients undergoing physical therapy.

She was married to her husband, Reverend Jothaya Samuel, for 41 years. They had two sons, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Esther always wanted a daughter, and her wish came true in the form of two granddaughters and five great-granddaughters.

She was a woman of deep faith. She lived by the teachings of Jesus; to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. She held great hope in a life ordained by our Creator, and she imbued peace and confidence in those around her.

Esther was fiercely independent, managing her home and finances, and living alone until she was 92. She traveled the world and loved to laugh. She greeted everyone with a kiss on both cheeks and she made everyone around her feel loved, seen, and accepted just as they were. Her family will carry on this legacy because she modeled it for them every day of her life.

Esther is preceded in death by her husband, Rev Jothaya Samuel, and youngest son, Dhanraj Samuel. She is survived by her oldest son, Divisha Samuel, and daughter-in-law, Rani Samuel; daughter-in-law, Debbie Samuel; grandchildren listed by age: Samantha Chalmers and her husband Luke, John Samuel and his wife Caitlin, Hannah Samuel, and Thomas Samuel and his wife Cheryl; and great-grandchildren listed by age: Evangeline, Gloria, Lilliana, Felicity, and Amali.

Additional Tribute Video: Esther Samuel (Ajji) (


Sunday, June 30, 2024
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Heritage Funeral Home
4800 S Minnesota Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57108


Monday, July 1, 2024
10:30 AM
Faith Baptist Fellowship Church
601 W 57th St
Sioux Falls, SD 57108


Woodlawn Cemetery
Sioux Falls, SD

Posted by Ravi Moses on July 1, 2024
My condolences with the bereaved family
Posted by John Fredrick Arul Samuel on June 30, 2024
Ajji.. it's a very little time I spent with you but I have experienced and see the love of God on you and your family.. how blessed you are to every one by sharing lot of love and smile even at this age.. I was shocked seeing you traveling so much at this age but yes I understood that it was all God's precious hands on you. Ajji.. thank you for your prayers.. you are a blessing to me and my family.. cheerful time spent with you ajji.. will.miss you..
Posted by Rebecca John on June 30, 2024
I will miss you dearly. I still have the ear tops that you bought for me 27 years ago from London. I kept it safe and now it's a memory of you aunty. Thank you for your blessings and prayers in our life's. You have been a strong women and we look up to you. Lots of love to you and we know you are in a better place and having an amazing time up there. Love you aunty and miss you very much.
Posted by Rebecca John on June 30, 2024
We miss you dearly, I Still remember the the earing you bought me from long
Posted by John Wilson on June 30, 2024
Aunty, Last days of your life you have spent in India among us. It's heartbreaking to know that you are no more aunty. The time we spent with you was so precious and memorable.. you have visited our house for dinner and that was the best time we all had, amazing conversation with you. we will miss you aunty. May your soul Rest in Peace amen.
Posted by Meribah Paul Chinnappa on June 30, 2024
Athma miss you but surely will meet you again
Posted by Sunder & Rekha on June 30, 2024
Our loving and dear Esther auntie… it grieves our heart that we will not see you again or spend time with you in India.. however we comfort ourselves knowing that you are with our creator .. reunited with uncle(jyothipapa), Dhanu bhaiya and all your siblings.. you have fought a good fight and finished the race.. thank you for being a testimony to everyone of us.. showing us daily how to live in Christ and for being a blessing in our lives… we will miss you, your lovely smile, your warm hugs and kisses and for sure your wit that made us all laugh… we bid farewell to your body with heavy heart but only with peace and assurance to see you again in spirit… we love you auntie .. till we meet again..
Posted by Shashi Solomon Andrews on June 29, 2024
Heart filled with grief what a wonderful lady she was we really miss her a lot May her soul rest in peace
Posted by Manjula Moses on June 27, 2024
Aunt Esther Samuel. A Great Woman of God. We will miss you. RIP
See you in the realm
Posted by Isaac Butt on June 27, 2024
My dear Esther Ajji may be gone, but her impact on my life will never fade. She showed me, and everyone around her, the true meaning of unconditional love and acceptance. Her kindness and compassion inspired me to embrace others just as they are. I'm so grateful for the countless memories we shared, and I'll treasure them forever. While it's hard to say goodbye, I take comfort in knowing she's reunited with my Ajji and her siblings who have all transitioned before her, surrounded by joy and love of Jesus. I feel blessed to have had such amazing grandparents, who not only loved God but also instilled that love in our family for generations to come. I look forward to the day we'll meet again, and I'll get to experience their warm embrace :)
Posted by Timothy Patterson on June 26, 2024
Esther was one of my favorite people. I met her only a few years ago. She was baptised this year and her life was a witness of how we can age graciously. You are missed already, but heaven is a richer place beause of people like you
Posted by Mercy Moses on June 26, 2024
It's so unfortunate to hear about your demise Ajji, your trip to India was so memorable, will miss your smile and always you blessed me in several times, believe your prayers and blessings are always with us, will miss your love towards your grand children, you were such a sweetheart ajji , for sure will miss you , rest in peace ajji. Condolences to the bereaved family
Posted by Yvonne Otten on June 26, 2024
So sorry for your loss.
Posted by Eric jacob on June 26, 2024
We will miss you Esther aunty. Rest in peace.
Posted by Dr. Anusha Samuel on June 26, 2024
Our heart aches on the thought that we can no longer see you smile Ajji, we really missed meeting you for the last time. Miss you Ajji, the thought of you coming to India always made us very Happy as kids and even while growing up..You will forever be Missed my London Ajji... Lots of love always ❤️ Yours, Gubbi❤️
Posted by Dr. Anusha Samuel on June 26, 2024
ur heart aches on the thought that we can no longer see you smile Ajji, we really missed meeting you for the last time. Miss you Ajji, the thought of you coming to India always made us very Happy as kids and even while growing up..You will forever be Missed my London Ajji... Lots of love always ❤️ Yours, Gubbi❤️
Posted by Deb Wingler Johnson on June 25, 2024
My heart hurts that grandma has gone home, But I can just imagine her up there giving hugs and kisses to everyone. She was such a sweetheart To everyone!
Unfortunately I cannot make it To her service, Just had my knee replaced and in the hospital so I will be out of commission for a while Until I can really get around. You all will be in my heart... Thoughts and prayers to you all as you travel this journey.
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