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PEKIN ~ Esther J. Davidson, 87, of Pekin, passed away at 8:50 p.m. Friday, November 25, 2016 at Pekin Manor.

Born December 7, 1928 in Hollis Township, rural Peoria County to Henry George and Catherine (Cose) Graber, she married Donald L. Gardner on May 10, 1947 in Pekin.  She later married Charles R. Davidson on July 16, 1979 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He died December 12, 1992 in Pekin.  She was also preceded in death by her parents; one son, Russell Gardner; two brothers, Edward Graber and Harold Graber; and six sisters, Eleanor Abel, Hilda Psinas, Bernadine Gollon, Lucinda Graber, Helen Bailey, and Dorothy Graber.

Surviving are two sons, Ronald Gardner of Glendale, Arizona and Richard (Stephanie) Gardner of Northglenn, Colorado; one step-son, Daniel (Tammy) Davidson of East Peoria; one step-daughter, Charla Capecci of Omaha, Nebraska; six grandchildren, Troy Gardner, Heather McNutt, Drew Gardner, Patrick Capecci, Shelby Davidson, and Spencer Davidson; and three great-grandchildren.

She was a 1946 graduate of Pekin Community High School.

Esther worked at Keystone Steel and Wire Company in Bartonville as a transcriber from 1946 to 1948 and the American Distilling Company in Pekin for 32 years, retiring in 1982 as an executive secretary.  She last worked as a bookkeeper for Monge Property Management in Pekin for over 25 years.

She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Pekin.  She was a former member and past president of the Pekin Republican Women’s Club and the American Business Women’s Association, and was a former board member of the Pekin Boy’s and Girl’s Club.  She also had been a member of the Pekin Hospital League.  She had been a literacy teacher at YWCA.

Esther was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother and will be missed by her family and friends.

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, December 2, 2016 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  The Rev. James McClarey will officiate.  Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

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