Person of the Month



Esther Taber



Esther Minnie Bishop, born October 2, 1923, in Canandaigua, NY (Mohawk Indian territory – “Chosen Spot”)    

Father-Charles A. Bishop Mother: Minnie (Grube) Bishop, and a younger brother Charles. 

The Finger Lakes Region of New York is where she grew up attending both grade and high school in Canandaigua. 

Music: Esther obtained her love music at age 8.  She saw a picture of a piano in a Sears store.  She spoke to her father about his buying it for her and they struck a bargain. If he bought the piano she must learn to play or he would close the lid and lock it up. As we know she learned and plays beautifully. 

After leaving school: Esther went to Buffalo New York to attend nursing school at Edward J Meyer Mem. Hospital. After 6 months of training, nurses were required to attend training, work the floor for 8 hours and study. She graduated in 1944 as an RN.  She then joined the Army Nurses Corp. in 1945 and was sent overseas. Esther remembers the voyage on a huge ship. On Christmas Eve of that year the ship traveled through a violent storm, with waves as high as a two story house. Never having seen such massive waves Esther was astonished. At times the ship slowed to watch for mines but never saw combat. She felt so sorry for the GIs as their living conditions were very tight.  They slept stacked four high and barely had room to turn over they also had to eat standing up. In the meantime the nurses were four to a room and they and the officers ate in the dining room. She thought that was a terrible way to treat our fighting men. 

Bremerhaven, Germany was her next stop, she was stationed there with the 121st general hospital and from there she was sent to accompany military wives and children to Berlin & Frankfurt.  

Furthering her education Esther attended from 1947 -1949 the state university on the GI bill and received a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Nursing Administration. She attended classes during the day and worked nights for room and board. 

The Love of her life, is Bill Taber.  They both said that God brought them together, as he was a Marine stationed in the Pacific originally and she was stationed in the Atlantic. She and Bill met when he was transferred to her department, Medical Surgery, in the veteran’s hospital in which they both worked. Although they didn’t date they both attended a Christmas party in which names were drawn and gifts were exchanged. Unbeknownst to Esther, Bill searched and searched for the person who held that special name, Esther Bishop.  When he finally found her he presented her with a beautiful cameo, which she wears to this day and still holds dear. They were married in a formal ceremony on August 6, 1950 at the beautiful Methodist church in her hometown. The church stands as beautiful today as it did then. 

Bill and Esther had four children; William R. Taber IV, Carolyn, Barbara and Nancy. In a twist the two children born in New York were born with dark hair and the two born in California (Barbara and Nancy) one had blonde hair the other was strawberry blonde.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The Taber’s moved to Valley Springs in 1989 Esther said “After Nursing all my life I retired”. In that same year Esther & Bill joined the Community United Methodist Church.  Esther began playing after Doug Douglass asked her to play for the choir when they practiced.  She and Audrey Shepherd would play together one on the piano the other on the organ.  Once Audrey retired from playing Esther took over playing the piano and the organ for the congregation. 

When asked about her accomplishments Esther noted that learning the piano, developing a love of music and attending nursing school including her success at obtaining her BS were at the top of her list 

Life statement: Quoting her father’s advice, “Never be a quitter” and “To always remember, your wants are more than your needs”  Advice to others to have a good life: Put God first, then your spouse and family.                                                                  Wishes to be remembered for:  Her love of nursing and music, love and concern for others, being a good Mother and Grandmother.