I regretfully announce the passing of my mother, Esther McILwain, on March 18, 2024. After suffering from a stroke on December 15, she never recovered. However, as she slipped into heaven, she was surrounded by family who loved her very much.

Esther is survived by her daughter, Celia; grandchildren, Noah, Jacob, and Caitlyn; and great-granddaughter, Camila. She was preceded in death by her mother, Esther Summers, and father, Emmanuel Jackson. Esther was the oldest of 10.

Esther was one of the strongest, kindest, smartest women you could ever meet. She loved her family and friends, but mostly God. She never wavered in her faith and is now in God’s presence. She will be missed but never forgotten.

Esther graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1967 and shortly after married Cleveland Mc ILwain, welcoming a baby girl the following year. Tragically, her husband died in 1973. However, that did not stop Esther from working full-time, attending college, and raising her daughter on her own. Esther began her career working for the state of California in 1972 at California Polytechnic University, then working at Avenal State Prison, the California Men’s Colony, and Pleasant Valley State Prison. She began as a clerical staff member, rising up the ladder to vice principal of adult education. She was a force to be reckoned with.

Esther was a wonderful daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. We will miss you, mommy!

On April 28, 2024, Esther’s 75th birthday, a celebration of life service will be held at the Celebration Worship Center Church, located at 988 Vineyard Dr. in Templeton, CA, at 2 PM. Food will be served after the service. If you knew Esther and would like to come and pay your respects, you are very welcome!