Esther M. Oyster Queneau , 96, of Ashland, passed away Sunday, June 13, 2021 at the age of 96 at Brethren Care Center where she had resided since April 2015. Born December 6, 1924 to Cloyd and Edna (Stoler) McNaull, she grew up on the family’s 1815 homestead farm.
She was a court reporter in Common Pleas Court in the late ’40’s and again in the early ’70’s.
In December 1949, she married Harold Oyster. For many years, they had a cottage at Walton Lake.
As a court reporter, Esther “preserved” the record, and it carried over into her passions: genealogy, 319th BG, Martin B-26 Marauder Historical Society, and Lincoln Highway Association. She wrote her biography in 2010.
Because of her work with B-26 units, she had two interesting “missions”: a ride over Dallas, Texas in a police helicopter, and a ride on a KC-135 tanker out of Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, to watch a mid-air refueling of a B-52. She also did extensive research work for Roger Freeman, British Aviation author.
When B-26 Marauder Historical Society was founded, she was the only woman present, and was elected to the Board of Directors, serving as Historian/Achivist.
Because of stories her mother had told about the Old Stage Road through Hayesville, Esther became a charter member of the Lincoln Highway Association, serving on the Board of Directors, as President in 1996 and as Chairman of the National Conference in Mansfield in 1996. Needing a banquet speaker, she located Bernard R. Queneau in Pittsburgh. He was one of four Eagle Scouts who had been awarded a cross-country trip on the Highway in 1928.
In 2001, she moved to Santa Rosa, California, remaining there two years. The LH Conference was in Sacramento, California in 2002, with Queneau as a special guest of honor. Assigned to be his escort, the couple met again, and renewed their friendship. Deciding to travel the “Highway of Life” together, they married in 2003.
Esther lived in Mogadore, Akron, Santa Rosa, California and Pittsburgh, always returning to Ashland after each move away. “My roots are deep here,” she often said.
Esther was a member of the Legal Secretaries Association, Ashland BPW, Ashland High School Class of 1942 Association, OGS, Lincoln Highway Association, 319th BG and B-26 Marauder Association. She compiled several books: “The 319th in Action”, “The Martin B-26 Marauder: a Bibliography and Guide to Research Sources” (with M/Gen John O. Moench). She had a flight on a KC-135 tanker out of Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, and watched a mid-air refueling of a B-52.
A master knitter, she knit chemo caps and prayer shawls, including two she designed using left-over yarns, which she named “The 23rd Psalm” and “The Comfort Quilt”. in 2016, she published a children’s book, Quertle the Turtle, and designed an Heirloom Crib Blanket to go with it.
Esther was a former member of Christ United Methodist Church and was a member of Dickey Church of the Brethren where she was baptized in 1938.
Esther is survived by her two daughters, Jean (William Tadd, Ph.D.) Franke of Georgia and Janet (Robert C.) Hunnicutt of California; three grandchildren: Scott Hunnicutt and wife Sarah, Jeffrey Hunnicutt, and Christina Franke scattered over the globe; a brother Cloyd (Mary Ann), and ten nieces and nephews: Melanie (Steve) Huber, Tom (Mary) McNaull, Mike (Cindy) McNaull, Dan (Debbie) McNaull; Connie (Jerry) Shank of Tennessee, John (Jaclyn) Crone, Steve (Linda) Crone and Keith (Martha) Crone; Cindi (Terry) Little of Boise ID, and Barbie (Denis) Lange all of Ashland.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her older brother, John (Bonita) McNaull and her sister, Vera (Eldon) Crone.
Jan, Melanie and Cloyd were especially helpful to Esther in her declining years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the church, 1509 Montgomery Township Road 655, Ashland, OH 44805 or the Hayesville Opera House.
The Ashland Home of Wappner Funeral Directors is honored to serve the family.
A FALLEN LIMB
A limb has fallen
From the Family Tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says,
“Grieve not for me,
Remember the best times,
The laughter, the song,
The good life I lived
While I was strong.
Continue my heritage
I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling, and surely
The sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease
My soul is at rest
How I truly was blessed;
No matter how small,
Go on with your life,
Don’t worry about falls.
I miss you all dearly
So keep up your chin
Until the day comes
We’re together again.”
Posted on Facebook by Caroline Pratt Tyler
5 May 2016