Esther E. Dittmar

Esther E. Dittmar, 84, of Merrill, passed away Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at her home under the care of her family and Interim Hospice.  Esther was born March 21, 1937, in Wausau, daughter of the late Fred and Margaret (Raasch) Henkelman. She was baptized on April 11, 1937 and confirmed her faith on May 21, 1950. She married Earl Dittmar in December of 1953. They later divorced but remained good friends throughout the rest of their lives. Earl passed away December 17, 2019. Esther worked as a waitress at the former Leck’s Big Eddy and Hinz’s Cork and Dyne, both in Merrill. She then worked at the former Semling and Menke (SEMCO) in Merrill for over 25 years. Esther ended her working years as a baker at Pine Ridge Restaurant.  In earlier years, Esther enjoyed embroidering and quilting. She gifted many of her quilts to her grandchildren. Esther also enjoyed vegetable and flowering gardening and entered several of her flower arrangements into the Lincoln County Fair competitions. She also made and decorated wedding cakes.  Esther was known by many as ‘Gramma Esther’ or ‘Cookie Gramma.’  She enjoyed making Santa face cookies and sharing them with everyone. Esther enjoyed cooking, playing Bingo, and going to the casino. She also enjoyed fishing and camping. Above all, Esther loved her family and enjoyed spending time with them, and the get togethers for game nights.

Esther is survived by three daughters, Dawn Mathis (Roger Williams), Diane Dittmar, and Darlene Mattson, all of Merrill; three sons, Dean Dittmar of Merrill, Doug Dittmar of Weston, and Dale (Lynette) Dittmar of Merrill; grandchildren, Arnie (Jennie) Mathis, Robert Mathis, Heidi Mathis, Kip (Sarah) Kreager, Brad Dittmar, Kristine (Chad) Upham, Christy (Christian) Lopez, Brandon Clark, Brittany Dittmar (Tyler Grams), and Mitchell Dittmar; grandson-in-law, Keith Tryba; great-grandchildren, Devon, Cash, Finn, Malakai, Callum, Gabby, Alexia, Declan, Sequoyia, Makenna, Kelsie, Allysa, and Hallie; great-great-grandchildren, Addie, Alivia, Carter, and Cameron; and brother, Fred Henkleman, Jr. of Merrill.  Esther was preceded in death by her parents, Fred Sr. and Margaret Henkelman; son-in-law, Phillip Mattson; grandson, Kyle Kreager; brother and sister-in-law, Lawrence and Marianne Henkelman; and sister-in-law, Gerda Henkelman.

The celebration of life will take place at 12:00 P.M., Noon, Thursday, January 27, 2022, at the Eagle’s Club in Merrill. The Rev. Scott Gustafson will officiate. The family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 A.M., Thursday at the Eagle’s Club. Taylor-Stine Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Merrill, is assisting the family.  The family wishes to thank Interim Hospice for their care and compassion. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial be made in Esther’s name to the Lincoln County Humane Society, Trinity Lutheran Church, Merrill, or the MAC Home, Merrill. Online condolences may be made at

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