Esther Boehlje

To: Friends of Esther Boehlje

From: Esther's Friends at Iowa State Teachers College

December 14, 1959

You whose names appear in Esther's address book are being sent this notice at the request of her family. This is a copy of the statement released by President Maucker's office this morning.

The career of Miss Esther Boehlje, Professor of Education, came to a close following a long period of illness on Friday afternoon, December 11, 1959, at Mercy Hospital, Mason City, where she had been confined for the past five weeks.

Miss Boehlje joined the staff of Iowa State Teachers College in 1937. During 1944-48, she taught at Indiana University, returning to TC that fall. Prior to coming to the college she had taught in the public schools at Mason City, Cherokee, Ottumwa, and Lake Mills and at East Tennessee State Teachers College and Illinois State Normal University. Miss Boehlje received her B. A. degree from Iowa State Teachers College in 1931; her M. A., from the State University of Iowa in 1934; and the Ed. D. degree from the University of Indiana in 1952.

Dr. Boehlje was an exceedingly capable and respected member of our staff. She always exhibited a kindly interest in the individual student and will long be remembered for her patience and graciousness and for her remarkable courage in the face of serious illness.

Funeral services will be held this afternoon (Monday, December 14) at 2:00 o'clock at the Sheffield, Iowa, Grace Baptist Church. Surviving are her parents (Mr. and Mrs. Fred Boehlje, Sheffield, Iowa), two brothers, and one sister.


The Faculty Senate met at 3.15 p.m., Monday, February 15, 1960, in the Faculty Room, Brune presiding.

1. The chairman recognized Miss Emmons who read the following resolution:

Iowa State Teachers College lost an outstanding teacher, a loyal alumna, and a professional leader with the death of Esther Boehlje on December 11, 1959.

Miss Boehlje was born on a farm near Sheffield, Iowa, on November 6, 1906. She obtained her elementary and high school education in the schools of Sheffield and Chapin. She graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in 1931 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Education and from The State University of Iowa in 1934 with the degree of Master of Arts. In 1952 she received the degree of Doctor of Education from Indiana University.

Miss Boehlje taught in rural, town, and city schools in Iowa. After completing the critic-in-training program offered by Iowa State Teachers College for selected teachers of high potential, she held positions in laboratory schools at Illinois State Normal University, East Tennessee State Teachers College, and Michigan State Normal College. From 1937 to 1944 she was a member of the Department of Teaching at Iowa State Teachers College, working in the schools of Waterloo and Hudson. After spending four years at Indiana University teaching in the laboratory school and working on her doctor 's degree, she returned to this campus in 1948 to teach in the Department of Education. She became professor of education in 1956.

Professional organizations to which Miss Boehlje belonged included Pi Lambda Theta, Delta Kappa Gamma, National Education Association, Iowa State Education Association, and Association for Childhood Education International. She was the sponsor for the KPBA student organization.

The individual student was always of major concern and interest to Miss Boehlje, whether it was a five-year-old, a young college student, or a mature teacher in the field. She was particularly interested in helping foreign students who came to our campus and worked actively on the Foreign Student Committee of the Faculty Women's Club.

Esther's intellectual curiosity was evidenced by her wide reading, which ranged from the literary and artistic to the scientific and social. Her friends especially enjoyed her companionship on trips to the country or woods because of her great interest in and knowledge about nature. This interest was further expressed in her gardening hobby. It was her delight to cultivate plants of many kinds, which she gladly shared with her friends.

Because of her cheerfulness, gaiety, and congeniality, she had an exceptionally wide range of friends. Many former students and co-workers kept in touch with her over the years. Her characteristic optimism and courage continued throughout her illness and were an inspiration to her friends.

Be it therefore resolved that we honor the memory of Esther Boehlje, and that this resolution be placed on the records of this body, and that a copy be sent to her parents, brothers, and sister, expressing our gratitude for her service to our college.

Margaret Buswell
Esther Hult
Eleanor McBride

L. Wagner moved adoption of the resolution. Lattin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


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