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Esther M. Gibbs Heaton, 79, of rural Macomb passed away surrounded by her family at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at the Elms Nursing Home in Macomb.
She was born on March 31, 1939 in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Herbert and Maybelle (Kinslow) Gibbs. She graduated Mackey High School with the class of 1957. She enjoyed playing softball, square dancing, and had a passion for horses so much that she brought her horse "Colonel" to Illinois when she came to attend Western Illinois University. Esther met the love of her life, Gerald A. Heaton and was married on August 29, 1959.
She became an LPN while working as an aide at the Elms Nursing Home and ended her 28 years of service at the Elms in social services. She loved her farm life with Gerald and her children as well as the many animals and especially her peacocks and dogs, "Blondie" and "Belle". She enjoyed 4-H, FFA, and school functions and activities with her children and grandchildren. She was in the American Legion Auxiliary and loved to paint. Esther was a selfless, caring, beautiful woman always with a smile. Esther loved and served her Lord and never had an unkind word about anyone.
She is survived by three daughters, Teresa M. (Kent) Nell of rural Colchester, Julie A. (Phil) Hodges of rural Plymouth, Melissa S. (Les) Waddill of rural Macomb; one son, Chris G. (Angie) Heaton of Good Hope; 8 grandchildren, Kristina (Jazmyne James) Woodvine, Jennifer (Shawn) Smith, Craig Waddill, Elizabeth (Chase) Powell, Jessica Heaton, Joshua Heaton, Jacqueline Heaton and Janell Heaton; five step-grandchildren, Stephanie (Clay) Robinson, Tiffany (Heath) Greiman, Bambi (Cory) Simpson, Justin (Whitney) Hodges and Dara (Kyle) Grove; four great-grandchildren, Lillie, Zach, Gavyn and Griffin and 14 step-great-grandchildren, Ariah, Cheyenne, Ella, Jesse, Trace, Marah, Rance, Meagan, Allyson, Bryce, Kennedy, Jonah, Karis and Everly; several brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald of 55 years, her parents, and second dad, Bruce McNew; two brothers, George Gibbs and Doug Gibbs, and granddaughter, Heather L. Roberts..
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at Bethel Baptist Church, south of Fandon with Reverend Jim Richardson officiating. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday December 10, 2018 at Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb. Burial will be in Hutchinson Cemetery, south west of Colchester.
Memorials may be made to MDH Hospice or the Elms Activity Fund.