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Esther "Toots" Arletta Locascio, 79, died Wednesday, May 30, 2018, after a months-long battle with cancer, at River Bluff Nursing Home, Rockford, IL. She was born on March 13, 1939, in Davis Junction, IL, the daughter of Robert Harrison and Esther Irene (née Robinson) Smith.
Esther lived the majority of her life in Loves Park, IL. She was a 1957 graduate of Harlem High School. She married Frank Robert Locascio on February 22, 1958. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary earlier this year. She worked for more than 30 years for Canteen Dining Services in the factory cafeteria at Warner Lambert in Rockford, most of those years as its manager. She also owned her own catering service, Arletta's Sahara Catering, and ran a Friday night fish fry in the basement of Sahara Tavern in Loves Park.
She was a member of Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church, Loves Park, and was active in Bible study, women's retreats, quilting ministry, assisted in the kitchen, and organized funeral luncheons. She enjoyed cooking, crafts, sewing, quilting, gardening, flowers, birds, reading, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and Wheel of Fortune.
She is survived by sisters, Margaret (James) McMillan, Althea (David) Wright, and Lois Smith; brother, William (Francis) Smith; her husband; children, Michael (Becky) Locascio, Carol (Jeff) Thomas, Frank "Bob" (Beth) Locascio Jr., Kenneth Locascio, and Greg (Esther) Locascio; grandchildren, Candy, Cathy, Kaitlyn, Sydney, Mallory, and Jonathan; great-grandchildren, Chase and Lauren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was predeceased by her parents; sister, Rachel (John) Matzko; and brother, Burton (Nancy) Smith.
Special thanks to Lori at Mercyhealth Assisted Care Hospice for her aid and comfort.
Funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 2, 2018, at Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church, 5183 Pebble Creek Trail, Loves Park. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2018, at Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory-Mulford Chapel, 4311 N. Mulford Road, Loves Park, and again Saturday from 4 p.m. until time of service at the church. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church.
Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church
5183 Pebble Creek Trail, Loves Park IL 61111