Esther Coleman died sober today, January 15, 2005 in Kissimmee, Florida with her family by her side. She had been sober for the last 22,547 days - One Day at a Time.
Esther got sober in Cleveland, Ohio on July 23, 1943, 2 months after her 34th birthday. One of the five AA members who 12 stepped Esther in the hospital was Clarence Snyder whose story appeared in the first three big books as "The Home Brewmeister". At the time they met, Clarence was 6 years sober having has his last drink on February 11, 1938. Clarence died sober on March 22, 1984 with 46 years of sobriety.
She used to ride to meetings in Akron from Cleveland on a "Little Indian Scout" motorcycle.
Esther had been sober for 61 years - or 738 months - or 3208 weeks - or 538,971 hours - or 32,338,725 minutes - or 1,940,339,727 heartbeats! Almost 2 billion breaths!
In Memory of Esther by Harry V. aka Harry the Wino
She was visiting Peny D., one of her sponsees who informed her that I was coming from California to ask her about AA history and the Big Book. Esther's reply to Peny was: "What's the matter with him, doesn't he have a Big Book?". I spent a number of days in her company at Peny's and other members, much of the time at the kitchen table with the tape deck running. Her humor, during times when she 'teased' me, and her positive outlook pleased me in her narration of the many difficult and trying timnes experienced in her early years prior to and throughout her life before AA.
She traveled weekly to Akron before Clarence Snyder started the first AA meetings in Cleveland. She attended early meetings with Dr. Bob and also with Bill W. during his trips there and in Cleveland too.
While we try not to place individual members of our society 'on pedestals'; this great lady certainly made an imprint on my life and enhanced it in contact with her. I, along with thousands of others in our Fellowship are richer for having known her. While I no longer will be able to phone her in Kissimmee where she lived with her lovely daughter (who is as gracious as her mother) she shall "live on in my heart" and "pay no rent".
|Mother and Daughter 1955-AA Picnic||Mother and Daughter 1999-AA Meeting|
|We are people who would not normally mix...yah, right!|
|Esther's 56th Anniversary Quilt|