Atkins:  Esto Magdalene Jennings, 100, of Atkins went home to be with the Lord on July 26 at Ridgeview Assisted Living Community. Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, July 28, at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Atkins.  Funeral: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 29 at St. Stephen’s will be conducted by Pastor Doug Woltemath.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church or Central Lutheran School.
Esto was born February 23, 1917, the daughter of Henry and Katie Keiper, on the family farm near Atkins. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Stephens Lutheran Church and a lifelong member. In 1949, she married Arthur Jennings at St. Stephens and they raised their family in Atkins. Esto was active in Walther League, Ladies Aide Society, LWML, quilting, and sang in the choir most of her life.
After graduating from Atkins High School, she did housecleaning for several families in Cedar Rapids, then worked as a cook at Mary Ann’s Eat Shop in Cedar Rapids. She later cooked for St. Stephen’s Lutheran School for 26 years. Following her retirement, she wrote local news articles for the Newspapers of Benton County and the Cedar Valley Times for 20 years.
Esto was known far and wide for her home-cooked meals and baking skills and was often called on to bake wedding cakes or pastries. Her black walnut cake won her a new stove. She loved to entertain and play cards, and could always recount stories from throughout her 100 rich years. Esto adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, teaching them to play pinochle and wahoo and love Jesus.
She is survived by her children, Mary (Larry) Youngberg of Park Forest, Ill., and Michael (Pam) Jennings of Atkins; six grandchildren, Edward (Beth) Youngberg, Amy (Tim Guido) Spry, and Jason Youngberg, Aaron (Amy) Jennings, Kyle (Amber Mahoney) Jennings, and Lindsay (Nathan) Montague; ten great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Dolores Keiper, Betty Keiper, and Grace Neff; many cherished nieces and nephews; extended family Joyce and Allan Schanbacher and Jim and Liz Eggert, and countless treasured friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son Melvin Jennings, husband Arthur Jennings, and four siblings.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Ridgeview Assisted Living Community and Care Initiatives Hospice for their kindness and loving care.