Estey Songer Obituary - Bakersfield, California | Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest


Estey Songer
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Obituary for Estey Louis Songer

Estey Louis  Songer
Estey Louis Songer was born on January 20, 1930, and passed into the presence of God on November 28th, 2023. Estey was born in Bakersfield, California to his parents, Elmer and Ruby Songer.

Most of his childhood years were spent on the farm in the Central Valley of California. Early on Estey learned the value of honest, hard work, using his hands and his mind. He was always curious about how things worked. Not just mechanical things, but things in every aspect of life. He loved building things, fixing things, learning new things and seeing the beauty in the world around him.

In his early teen years his family experienced great brokenness, brought on by his father’s addiction to alcohol. It would be a turning point in his life. As he and his mother and two older siblings had to learn to navigate life on their own, they found a group of people, or were perhaps found by a group of people that would become family for them in the truest sense. They became a part of this small, vibrant community of faith, the North Park Church of the Nazarene, now the Olive Knolls Church of the Nazarene. Soon after walking into that little church, Estey opened his heart to a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ, that would begin a journey of grace that would transform every part of his life.

As World War II called on most of the men in the church to serve, the church needed a worship leader. Estey was only 15 years old, had no experience, but a beautiful voice, and so he answered the call. He would gladly serve in that role for 25 years. At 16 the church was needing to build a new sanctuary for the growing congregation. Estey would spend that entire summer helping to build that new worship center. He developed an immense love for God’s house, as an essential place for the people of God to gather, that would forever mark his life.

On July 4th, 1950, he met Joyce Bentley who was with her family for a picnic in the park. He had seen her once at another church, and a few times crossing the campus at BHS where they both attended High School. But that day as he would later put it, “The Love-bug bit”. They were married on October 7th of that same year and had a love affair for the ages that lasted 70 years. Together they raised 2 boys, Rob and Jerry Songer. Their family life would be characterized by their faith in Christ, being deeply rooted in the church, always inviting others into their home, with lots of love and laughter, hope and blessing for all who they would encounter.

Estey spent most of his professional life in the meat industry. He was a butcher, co-owner of Consumer Meat Company, and a regional salesman for Diamond Meat Company/Harris Ranch for over 25 years. When asked how he had maintained his place as top salesman for so many years, he would quickly say, “I’m not really in the meat business, I’m in the relationship business. That makes all the difference.”

Estey was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Ruby Songer, his sister, Helen Dill, his brother Charles Songer and his beloved wife Joyce Songer. He is survived in death by his sons Rob and Jerry Songer, two daughters-in-law, Debie Songer and Cynthia Songer, six grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren, who are all the great joy of Estey and Joyce’s life. They also had many, many others they counted as their children in the church. Those they had poured their lives into, believing that they too could experience that journey of grace that had made all the difference their lives.

His was profoundly shaped by his love for God, and for Joyce his precious wife, for all his children and his love for the church. On the night before his passing as his son and daughter-in-law were leaving his room, he turned to them and said, “If I don’t see you tomorrow, I’ll see you in glory.” And so, it will be.

There will be a viewing on December 29th at Greenlawn Southwest in the chapel from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The memorial service will be at the Olive Knolls Church of the Nazarene on December 30th, at 10:00 am., with the graveside service to follow at Greenlawn Southwest.

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