Jewish 12

Esther R. Padnos

April 7, 1928 ~ December 19, 2021 (age 93)


Esther Roth Padnos, much-loved wife, mother and grandmother, consummate homemaker and generous philanthropist passed away at her home in Holland, MI. at the age of 93 on December 19, 2021.

Esther was born as the third child of Max and Florence Roth on April 7, 1928 in Grand Rapids, MI. She was predeceased by her husband of 72 years, Seymour K. Padnos, and by her brothers, Abraham Roth and Louis Roth.

Born to immigrant parents and growing up during the depression, Esther understood the importance of giving back and was an active philanthropist. Esther had a lifelong interest in art and design which had a significant impact on her children and was manifested in her home and in her philanthropy.

Together with her husband, she established the Esther and Seymour Padnos Foundation and was an early supporter of local institutions of higher education – leading to their donation to create the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing and the Padnos Hall of Science at Grand Valley State University. Esther received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from GVSU.

Recognizing the need for skilled medical professionals, she also created an endowed nursing scholarship at GVSU. Esther was an active supporter of Hadassah, and of numerous organizations that worked to improve the lives of women. She and Seymour also supported the Michigan Maritime Museum, Indian Trails Camps, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and many other philanthropies. She was a member of Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids for more than 70 years.

The end of Esther’s life was made immeasurably better through the efforts and care of home aids Makayla, Susan, Karen, Julie, Betty Jo, Karri, Lillian and Suzanne.

Esther will be greatly missed by her four children Mitchell (wife Karen), Shelley (wife Carol Sarosik), Bill (life-partner Margy Kaye), Cindy (husband Jim Redmond) and grandson Louis Padnos. The family asks that any donations in her memory be made to the Temple Emanuel Padnos Building Maintenance Fund, the Esther Padnos Nursing Scholarship at GVSU, or the charity of their choice.

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