MARY ESTHER FLORES

1940 – 2023

 

Intense faith

Mary Esther Flores, whose intense faith led her to read the scriptures and pray for two hours every night, passed away on December 6, 2023, due to Glioblastoma, a brain tumor, at Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Her son, Don Dixon, with whom Mary had been living, rushed to her side. She was 83.

“Mom’s love of life made the mundane seem interesting,” son Don said. “She was always excited to go out, and her enthusiasm was infectious.”

The fourth of eight children, Mary was born on April 9, 1940, in Worland, Wyoming to Andrea (Garcia) Ledesma, a housewife, and Florentino Ledesma, a Railroad Worker, who passed away when Mary was still a child.

Strong and resilient

Despite tough circumstances, Mary grew strong and resilient, her sporadic education culminating in a GED in her adult years. A long-time employee of Pamida, a department store, Mary was a cashier and lived in Worland until 1986.

Married three times, first to Victor Escobedo, then to Jim Dixon, and finally to Miguel Flores, who died during their union in Dallas, TX, Mary had three sons, Lee and Bobby Escobedo, and Don Dixon.

Mary and her son, Don.

In 2018, following Miguel’s death, Mary moved to Plainsboro, NJ to live with her son Don, a Reinsurance Accountant at Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. The next five years were a romp, fast food runs, shopping, and visiting friends, who dubbed Mary “a kind, sweet lady” who loved to joke around.

 She read two newspapers every day

Starting every day by reading two newspapers, Mary doted on cable news and enjoyed discussing the day’s events. Every weekend, Mary and Don would travel around New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania looking for new thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales. “She adored the relentless search for bargains and negotiating with the sellers,” her son said.

A talented cook, Mary devoured cookbooks and watched YouTube cooking videos. She was an avid sports fan and loved watching football, hockey, and The Olympics. But her guilty pleasure by far was basketball. During the NBA season, she consumed hours watching the Eastern Time Zone games, later switching to the Midwest games, and finally watching the West Coast games, refusing to go to bed until each day’s final buzzer sounded. Don relished his mom’s exuberant commentary and cheerleading, saying, “Games won’t be the same without her.”

A devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mary maintained a valiant attitude while battling brain cancer, something her son deeply admired. “She kept the faith, stayed strong, and consoled me during her final weeks,” Don said.

Pre-deceased by her parents, Andrea (Garcia) Ledesma and Florentino Ledesma, her brother Leo Montoya, sister Flora (Sanchez) Rodriguez, and son Lee Escobedo, Mary is survived by her sons Bobby Escobedo, and Don Dixon; grandchildren Winter Rae (Escobedo) Gaustad, Robbie Escobedo, Julius Escobedo, Joey Escobedo, Jake Escobedo, and Jed Escobedo; and siblings Joe Sanchez, Amelia (Ledesma) Lain, Isabel (Ledesma) Arguello, Irene (Ledesma) Skretteberg, and Raymond Ledesma.

Mary will be laid to rest at the Riverview Memorial Gardens in Worland, Wyoming.

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