Esther Thornton Glover

Date of Birth

September 11, 1946

Date of Death

July 4, 2019

Esther Thornton Glover passed away on the morning of Sunday, the 7th of April 2019 at MD Anderson Hospital with her family at her side. She fought a two-year battle with esophageal cancer.

Esther was born on the 9th of November 1946 in Marceline, Missouri. She was especially proud that Marceline was the boyhood home of Walt Disney and the exact model for Main Street USA at Disneyland. The small town formed her wise perspective of life in America, just as it had Walt Disney’s.

Esther earned her BA from William Jewel College in Liberty, Missouri, her Master’s Degree in English Literature from The University of Missouri at Columbia and she completed her coursework for her Ph.D. in English Literature.

Following school Esther moved to Minneapolis where she taught eighth grade English and American History. Esther and her husband Gene moved to Santa Barbara, California where they lived until moving to Houston in 2004.

Esther loved playing the piano. With the concerted effort and support of her mother and father Helen and Bernard Thornton, Esther started piano lessons at age 4. Esther played regularly for Bethany Baptist Church in Marceline. She was an accomplished sight reader of music and was the regular pianist at her children’s primary school, Montecito Union. Because of her talent Kenny Loggins asked her to fill in on one of his Christmas Albums and she helped him write the Montecito Union School Anthem. In the 1980’s, Esther and a group of friends formed a singing group called “Tuxedo” and performed around Santa Barbara. She took great pleasure in writing her own lyrics to popular songs for special occasions of her friends.

Esther was a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, The Garden Club of Houston, The Houstonian, Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, The Forest Club, and Bolero. In Santa Barbara, Esther was a member of the Santa Barbara Garden Club, where she served as past-President, The Little Town Club, The Santa Barbara Yacht Club, Birnam Wood Golf Club, and The Santa Barbara Club. Esther was an accomplished bridge player, needle pointer and quilter. Esther also loved sailing off the coast of California and spent weeks at a time aboard the Lina Marta cruising the Channel Islands. One of her fondest memories was living on her boat in Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island; living as a regular in the small town atmosphere she knew so well.

Esther leaves to mourn her husband of thirty-five years, Eugene George Glover; her son, Matthew Tucker Renshaw and his wife Elizabeth; and their three children, Ryan Elizabeth, Benjamin Glover and Jane Kelley; her daughter, Leslie Glover Fairbanks and her husband Charles (AJ); and their two children, Charles Warren and Lilah Esther. She is also survived by her brother, Tom Thornton and his wife Cindy; and their sons, Zach and Tim.

A memorial service is to be conducted at one o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 18th of April, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston, where The Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., Rector and The Rev. Jonathan V. Adams Associate for Pastoral Care and Outreach, are to officiate.

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent Bagby Parish Hall.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to The Garden Club of Houston Endowment Fund, 4212 San Felipe PMB 486, Houston, TX 77027 or The Garden Club of Santa Barbara, PO Box 5773, Santa Barbara, CA 93150.

Please visit Esther’s online memorial tribute at


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