Esta Mae Gressette


Esta Mae Gressette, a resident of Willow Springs, passed away Wednesday, April 10, 2019 while at her daughter's residence. Born January 9, 1943 to Robert Steele and Gladys Etta (Warner) Blackwood in Athens, OH; she was 76 years old.

She grew up on a farm, winning pony races at the county fair on her pony, Sugar, even after Sugar had recovered from a broken hind leg the winter before. She showed dairy cattle, chickens, and other 4-H projects. Horses, dogs, and cats were considered members of her family all her life. Esta graduated from Rutland High School in 1960, and with a BS in Biology from Ohio University in 1964. She worked as a medical technologist in both Quest reference lab in Columbus and O'Blenness Hospital in Athens, OH. She moved to Georgia in 1980 and worked at Tift Regional, Fitzgerald and Phoebe Putney. She retired in 2015 after working for more than 50 years. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, active in Circle 9 and the church orchestra, where she played tenor saxophone. She was also a member of the Wiregrass Quilt Guild, completing more than 50 quilts and an active member of the Tifton Exchange Club. Three months after her husband passed away, she learned her colon cancer had returned and it was also in both lungs and needed treatment ASAP. In March of 2018, she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law for treatment in Missouri. This has been her "happy place" surrounded once again by farm animals. Her positive outlook and fighting spirit stayed with her until the end. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.

She is preceded in death by her parents; a grandson, Jake Steele Carey in 2014 and her husband, Robert Bruce Gressette in 2017.

She is survived by her daughter, Kristina (Rob) Carey; grandson Cole Patrick Carey; a brother, Cecil Blackwood; step grandsons, Riley Carey and Justin (LeAnne) Carey; their children, Dawson and Rory of Alberta, Canada; and 6 dear cousins.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate memorial donations be made to Old Dogs Sanctuary, PO Box 93, Mt. Juliet, TN 37121. Those wishing to send condolences directly to the family may do so to: Rob & Kristina Carey, 1358 Bradford Road, Willow Springs, MO 65793

A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Tifton, GA. Arrangements are under the direction of Willow Funeral Home, LLC. On-line condolences may be left at
Published on April 12, 2019
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5 posts

Carla Gudal Parrish
Apr 13, 2019
I met Esta through my mother(Virginia Gudal) as they were friends from church. Esta hosted a Longaberger Basket party in my home and she was such a delight. I always enjoyed seeing her when I’d bump into her in Tifton.
She was always so sweet and kind!!
I will let my mother know of Esta’s passing. Mom is 90 and pretty much housebound. Mom loved Esta and thought so much of her.
With sincere condolences,
Carla and Virginia
Rosemary Short
Apr 12, 2019
Everyone loved Esta and she is really missed at FUMC and elsewhere in Tifton.. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
Deborah A. Moorman
Apr 12, 2019
She was a fabulous quilter who will be missed. My condolences on your loss.
Fran Roberts
Apr 12, 2019
Esta Mae was such a special pearson and friend in Wiregrass Quilting. She has been missed. I send my sympathy to her family.
Bob Stukes and Family
Apr 12, 2019
I send my sympathy and love ❤️ to you and your Family. I regret that I did not get to meet your loving mother while Coach Gressette while they were still alive. Sincerely, Bob Stukes