Esta Liimatainen Morse

September 16, 1946 - September 10, 2023

Esta Liimatainen Morse, 76, of Springfield, VT, passed away on Sunday, September 10, 2023, following a 9-month battle with chronic pain. Known for her generosity and love of family and animals, she will be missed by many.

One of eight children, Esta was born in Northampton, MA, in 1946 to Hazel O’Brien and Toivo Liimatainen Sr. She grew up in Hinsdale, NH, where she was a prominent athlete at Hinsdale High School, playing basketball and softball. After graduating in 1964, Esta moved to Brattleboro where she raised her first family of daughters, gardening and cooking together; camping and sharing her love of the beach in the summer; and hiking in the fall. She pitched on local softball teams for a number of years, won several trophies participating in local candlepin bowling tournaments, and ran numerous 10K races.

In 1996, while working at C.S. Wholesale Grocers, she met and married Steven Morse. One day on a country drive in 1999, the couple came upon the Dutton property in Springfield, VT, and so began their new chapter as organic farmers, humanely raising cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys, and selling their products at multiple farmers markets; and harvesting and selling hay as Ephraim Mountain Farm. She had a prime spot by the waterfall at West River Farmers Market in Londonderry, where she waited on customers-turned-friends. Esta loved the outdoor, physical lifestyle of farming, most notably the meditative time on her tractor.

Having been a foster child herself, Esta always wanted to give back and from 2001 through 2021, she and Steve opened up their home to nearly 80 foster children, falling in love with and adopting several girls and raising their own family. All inherited her passion for the outdoors and hard work on the farm; a deep bond with animals, particularly dogs; a fondness for the weekly races at Thunder Road; and the joy of cooking and family meals. In 2014, they were awarded the Windsor County Farm of the Year Award. In recent years, the couple and their kids headed to Myrtle Beach, SC, and had just purchased a house in Morven, NC, with the hopes to renovate it and turn it into their permanent escape from Vermont’s harsh winters.

Esta is survived by her husband and soulmate of 27 years, Steven J. Morse of Springfield, VT; her daughters Karen (Croumie) Thomas of Rootstown, OH; Katharyn (Croumie) Pacheco of Westfield, MA; Kimberlee Croumie of Swanzey, NH; their daughters, Stormie Morse Gordon of Windham, VT; and Ashley Lynn Morse, Autumn Morse and Ciana Winston all of Springfield, VT. She is also survived by her siblings, Martha Doyle of Keene, NH, Ernest Liimatainen of Chicopee, MA, John Liimatainen of Hinsdale, NH, Warren Liimatainen of Sullivan, ME, and Toivo Liimatainen Jr. of Laconia, NH; grandchildren, Angela (Gaudette) Alarie of Manchester, NH, Antone Pacheco of Boston, MA, Johnny Comer Jr. of West Palm Beach, FL, Zachary Thomas of Rootstown, OH, Christina Comer of Greensboro, NC; and Carson and Remington Gordon of Windham, VT; many beloved nieces and nephews; and her cherished dog, Maverick. She is predeceased by her siblings, Linda Liimatainen of Denver, CO, and Alan Liimatainen of Hudson Falls, NY, and her canine companion of 15 years, Barney.

Arrangements are in care of the Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home 55 Westminster Street, Bellows Falls, VT. A Celebration of Life will be held at Ephraim Mountain Farm 2:00 PM Saturday, September 30. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VINE Sanctuary of Springfield, VT.

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