Cover photo for Esther Yant's Obituary
Esther Yant Profile Photo
1936 Esther 2017

Esther Yant

November 29, 1936 — November 9, 2017

Esther Andrews Yant of Greensburg, PA, died on November 9th after a short illness.  Esther was born on November 29, 1936 in San Diego, CA.  During her childhood she lived in Caracas, Venezuela and Bogota, Columbia while her father was employed there as a petroleum geologist.  She graduated from Boulder High School in Colorado, and then attended the University of Wyoming, graduating from University of California, Davis with a degree in English Literature.

While Esther originally wanted to be a journalist, early experience editing the society pages convinced her that teaching was a better fit for her warm and giving nature.  She found her true vocation teaching English language and American culture, first to Vietnam refugees in the 70’s, and then to immigrants and expatriate wives.  She co-founded the International Women’s Group at the Greensburg YWCA, which is in its 25th year of the Cooking, Conversation and Culture program.  Over the years Esther helped hundreds of people assimilate to the US, drawing on her own experiences as a teenager moving from South America to the States.  Many of these families kept in close touch, even decades later.  In addition to working as an ESL teacher, Esther was also active with the Sunday School program at Christ Church, Greensburg, teaching there for almost 50 years.

Esther was a energetic and caring mother to her three children, Suzanne (Jeff) Cohodes, Sara (Don) Belt and David (Kelli) Yant.  She prioritized independent learning, and encouraged children’s projects even when it led to a kitchen full of dirty dishes or a yard strewn with wood working tools while a DIY tree fort was under construction.  She was an active participant in the lives of her ten grandchildren, Joe, Zakk, Melanie and Madeline Cohodes, Victor and Laurel Sipe, and Drew, Jacob, Ben and Gabe Yant.  She attended concerts, sporting events and graduations, and often was mistaken for the mom when she took her grandchildren on outings to the park.

Esther met the love of her life, Howard West Yant, while a student at the University of Wyoming.  Although he was interested in mountain climbing and her outdoor adventures were to that point equestrian based, they found common ground in a love of the outdoors and the West.  Esther and Howard shared many happy memories during their 58 years of marriage, including yearly summer vacation trips back to Wyoming with their children and grandchildren.

Esther is preceded in death by her parents, Philip Andrews and Sara Champion Andrews, and survived by her sisters, Mary Marquardsen and Margaret Moked.

Family and friends will be received Sunday from 2-4pm and 6-8pm at the KEPPLE-GRAFT Funeral Home 524 N. Main Street, Greensburg.

Services will be held on Monday at Christ's Church 145 North Main Street, Greensburg at 10:00 am.

Private interment will be in the Unity Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Memorial Fund of Christ Church 122 N. Maple Ave, Greensburg, PA 15601.

For online condolences and information, please visit

Charitable donations may be made to:

Memorial Fund of Christ's Church
145 North Main Street, Greensburg PA 15601

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Esther Yant, please visit our flower store.


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