Obituaries » Esther V Fluvog
October 22, 1922 - April 11, 2017
Mom peacefully passed away in her family home on April 11th, which is just what she always wanted. She was preceded in death by her husband Philip Fluvog MD and is greatly missed by her children Joanne, Brent, Eric, Craig and Jill; the grandchildren who adored her (and “likewise”, as Grammy would say), John Philip Fluvog, Stephen Johnson, and Beth Johnson; and dear friends with whom she shared everyday life and many an adventure.
Born in Streeter, North Dakota to David and Barbara Mantz, Mom grew up in a family of eight children. It was in that home that Mom participated in many creative projects, such as using old tire pieces to make designs on the old wood floor to refresh the finish (early Martha Stewart). She also learned generosity and said that when people showed up at the back door her Mother just added water to the soup and welcomed them in.
Mom and Dad were married in Oklahoma where Dad was training to be an Army Air Corps flight instructor. His education after the service took them and their growing family to many cities and she found special things about each one. The final phase of Dad’s schooling ended in Seattle and that is where they settled with the five children. When Dad started his career they left the Holly Park community, purchased the old Bethlehem Lutheran Church parsonage in Columbia City, and moved it to what is now the location of Genesee dog park.
Mom continued her family tradition of creative homemaking by doing many, many projects on a budget. These included such activities as using burlap for interesting wall coverings, refinishing floors (no tires this time), learning to upholster furniture, and sewing tailored clothing including suits for church services. The latter ran amok a bit when “the boys” waylaid the seam tape to tie Jill to the swing set.
Mom loved learning and practicing new artistic crafts such as bean mosaics, silk screening, ikebana, and the ever present pine cone projects. We all remember riding in the station wagon when Mom would spot a tree with a type of cone she just had to have so we had to park and gather. Leschi had a particularly good supply. She was a very good cook and enjoyed canning, baking plus learning new skills such as boning a turkey, making sushi, preparing perfect lefse (from Dad’s mother) and still making her more traditional German recipes. It’s hard to imagine, but in addition to everything else, Mom led both Camp Fire Girl and Cub Scout troops.
Mom had some core beliefs with which she raised her children. One was to keep us busy, so we had to beware of whining that “I have nothing to do.” If it wasn’t raining, we were invited out the front door and outside activities were very important to the family, especially hiking, camping and skiing. Probably the pinnacle of these experiences was when she, Dad, and the four oldest children summited Mt Rainier. Mom was in her 40s.
Mom also wanted us to have music in our lives, and one vivid memory is of the “one piano, six hands” experiment that too often resulted in someone being pushed off the bench (guess who?). Education was highly valued for her, the children and grandchildren. She would take UW tele-learning courses and also studied Norwegian. Another value she gave to us was independence. We were taught quite young that if we wanted to get somewhere we needed to figure out how that was going to happen. This translated (to some of us) to an early fascination with public transportation as well as a basic knowledge of what to do when lost.
As a grandma, Mom was integral to “the kids’” lives. She would often show up to our homes with bags of projects and Jill would arrive home to see the house festooned with paper snowflakes, leaves, paper mache heads and the annual scarecrow on the front bench dressed in an interesting outfit from Goodwill, the source of goodies for all three generations.
It was never the material that Mom focused on, although she did love a good sale and buying gifts for others. While she always wanted to give special and useful gifts, she also said that some of the best presents were those that brought laughter. For herself, she just asked for cards.
Mom had a close group of friends and this included neighbors from the house in the woods as well as Mt Baker. She absolutely loved that neighborhood because of the views, proximity to the lake and – most of all – the wonderful people.
Mom will stay in the hearts and memories of many, and she also believed in what was well-expressed by Robert Frost:
“In three words I can summarize everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
If you wish to make contributions in Mom’s memory, she would have liked it if you made those to organizations that matter to you. At Mom’s request, no public service will be held.