School 22

Esther Marion (Pratt) Goodlaxson

December 29, 1918 ~ October 31, 2020 (age 101)



Due to the rising COVID numbers Esther’s funeral service will now be a PRIVATE FAMILY SERVICE at 10 a.m., Saturday, November 7th at the funeral home. The funeral service will be broadcast live on the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory Facebook page. Conducted by Jeffrey Thayer, Matthew Jensen and Kyle Bredesky.

The family WILL NOT greet friends following the service.

Burial will be at the Colfax Cemetery in Colfax.

Memorials to the National Autism Association or to the Donor’s Choice may be left at the funeral home or mailed to the Wallace Family Funeral Home, 1115 E. 19th St. N., Newton, IA 50208, please add, Attn: Goodlaxson Family on the envelope.


Esther Marion Goodlaxson

Inspired many with her love, quick wit, happy spirit and faith.


Esther Goodlaxson, aged 101, of Colfax, Iowa, passed away at her home on October 31, 2020 with five family members by her side.

Esther lived a life of full of love, faith and joy. Her favorite saying was “Happy, happy, happy,” followed by “No Complaints, no complaints, no complaints!” She always saw the positive aspects of life in any situation, frequently making people laugh with her quick wit and lighthearted jokes. She loved literature, surrounding herself with uplifting poems, positive quotes, crossword puzzles and books. And she had a very special love for children and animals.

Esther was born in Fairfield, Iowa on December 29, 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Her birth mother’s family took her to an orphanage in Kansas City, Missouri, where Esther lived until she was almost two years old. A loving couple, Samuel and Annette Pratt, visited the orphanage in 1920 and adopted her, giving her a happy childhood.  Esther loved learning. She graduated from Pickering, Missouri High School at age 16, and one year later from Creston Junior College at age 17. While at Creston, she met and fell in love with John Goodlaxson. She transferred to NW Missouri State College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1939. Esther began teaching school in 1939 in Quitman, Missouri Community School for a salary of $810 per year.

Esther secretly married John Goodlaxson on May 22, 1940 in Lexington, Missouri. She loved teaching, and during the post-Great Depression era, a married woman was not allowed to teach. This secret plan worked for a year; however, a close friend spilled the secret that Esther was married—and she was required to stop teaching.

John and Esther lived in many cities throughout the US, as John was a US Naval Officer during World War II. Esther had the “privilege” of being an officer’s wife—a status that carried a certain pretention with which she was never comfortable. They lived in Washington DC; Hollywood Beach, Florida; Key West, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; Corpus Christi, Texas; and other locations. They settled in Iowa in 1947 when John received a Research Engineer position at Maytag Company (now Maytag Corporation) and lived in Jasper County for the rest of their years. During some of these years, Esther taught English at Colfax School District.

Esther and John together surrendered their lives to Christ in 1947 and committed the rest of their days to loving and following God’s plan. They were always ready to help others and loved their neighbors and friends alike. Esther was a very solid and stable influence, and her bright light radiated to everyone she met.

Esther and John were married for 52 years until John passed away in 1992. They had four children:  David, James, Sharon, and Susanne.

Esther loved English and always demanded proper English in the home. She enjoyed daily crossword puzzles and Cryptograms and was an avid Scrabble player. Esther’s quick mind, sense of humor and loving spirit are remembered by all who knew her. God, home and family were her priorities, and she was very responsible and stable in her life.

Esther had a large 100th birthday party almost two years ago in Colfax. She loved family and her many friends. The question was asked to her on her 100th birthday, “What is the greatest change you have seen in your long life?”  Esther answered without hesitation, “The change in me when Jesus came into my life.”

Esther was preceded in death by her parents Samuel and Annette Pratt, her husband John Goodlaxson, and her dear daughter Sharon Goodlaxson Wierwille.

Esther is survived by three children, David Goodlaxson (Virginia), James Goodlaxson (Jane), and Susanne Goodlaxson Landgrebe.  She loved her grandchildren so much:  Philip, Sarah, Justin, Jessica, Stephanie, J.T, Evan, Michael, Daniel, Katy, Stacy, and Matthew, and many great grandchildren.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Esther Marion (Pratt) Goodlaxson, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service


November 7, 2020

Colfax Cemetery
620 S. Walnut St.
Colfax, IA 50054

Private Family Service

Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory
1115 E. 19th St. N.
Newton, IA 50208-2539

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