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In Memory

Esther Pressel

April 22, 2011

Esther Pressel, retired professor of anthropology at Colorado State University, died April 15 at the Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of the Rockies following a long illness.

Esther PresselThe only child of James William Pressel and Rachel Clapper, she was born Jan. 15, 1937, in Harrisburg, PA. She spent her childhood on the family farm in New Enterprise, PA., and was valedictorian at Replogle High School.

She graduated from Pennsylvania State University and earned her doctorate from Ohio State University where she studied under Dr. Erika Bourguignon. She taught at CSU from 1968 until she retired in 2003. Her classes include Psychological Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Afro-Caribbean Ethnology, People and Cultures of Africa, Language and Culture as well as many graduate seminars.

Her fieldwork took her to West India, Russia, Nigeria and Brazil. Her scholarly papers dealt with various aspects of health and healing, plus ritual and spirit possession in Brazilian Umbanda.

She was a member of Foothills Unitarian Church, the Front Range Forum, and Larimer County Genealogical Society. During her illness she took part in the local Parkinson’s Support Group and music therapy at CSU.

She married Arden Shubert in 2000 and they enjoyed traveling together. He preceded her  in death on April 27, 2010.

She is survived by cousins Linda Gail Williams and Glen Myers, both of Bedford, PA., 11 other first cousins, all in Pennsylvania, and an aunt, Melda Clapper of Loysburg, PA.

The body has been donated for scientific use and was cremated.

A celebration of her life will be conducted at 2 p.m.; Friday, April 29, at Foothills Unitarian Church, 1815 Yorktown Ave.


Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: 970-491-6009