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Boonstra, Esther Conelley, 1924-2018



  • Existence: January 23, 1924-May 25, 2018

Biographical Information

Esther Conolley was born in Rockford, Ohio to Vaughn and Naomi Conolley in 1924. The family moved to Michigan before eventually settling near Upland, Indiana on a 90 acre farm that Vaughn inherited. Esther graduate high school there, from Jefferson Township Hugh School, in 1941.

After graduating high school, Conolley enrolled at Purdue University in the Home Economics School where she majored in Clothing and Interior Home Design. After earning her bachelor's degree, Conolley taught at a high school in New Carlisle before marrying Dr. Charles Boonstra. After marrying the two lived in Indianapolis for a year while Charles finished medical school, and Esther taught at an elementary school.

Esther and Charles had two children, Michael and Anne. They moved several times during Charles' early career, but Esther developed an affinity for volunteerism in the various places they lived. She volunteered with the Red Cross assisting hospitals, and as an art history teacher.

Esther died in West Lafayette in 2018.



MSO 1, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Esther Conelley Boonstra papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 3, Placement: 20
Identifier: MSA 57
Scope and Contents Recollections by Esther Boonstra of the years she spent at Purdue from 1941 to 1945. Transcription The Way It Was at Purdue 1941-1945, by Esther Conelley BoonstraI came to Purdue as a freshman in September 1941. There were four male students for every female student. The Music Hall (now Elliott Hall of Music) was new and in it we freshmen had an orientation talk and an initial assessment of each one's capabilities for the assignment to...
Dates: 1941 - 1945