In Memory Of


This obituary is protected by copyright by Flinn Funeral Services Ltd, proudly serving West Central Alberta, Canada. All rights reserved.

Esther Alice Dubé

Dec 18, 1935 - Aug 29, 2023


  No service by request


Esther Alice (nee Halstein) Dubé, age 87, transitioned Tuesday August 29, 2023 at around 2:00 pm, surrounded by loved ones at the Red Deer Hospital Palliative Care Unit.

Esther was born to Iver and Josephine Halstein on December 18, 1935, where they lived on the farmstead in the Kuusamo area, west of Sylvan Lake. Esther also had a younger sister Dorothy (predeceased) who she grew up with on the farm.

She had a great love for animals and books, excelled in school and was an Honour Roll student. Education, animals, and travelling were her passions.

Esther worked at many places. She had a degree from Queen’s University in Ontario, was employed at the Red Deer Advocate, Lindsay Thurber and then as the Town of Sylvan Lake’s librarian. Most notable in her life and career was her time in Hong Kong where she resided and taught English. While in Hong Kong, she rescued some alley cats and when she returned to Alberta, she brought them with her. The border patrol officer told her, “We do have cats in Canada, you know.”, to which she replied, “Not these ones”.

Later in life, after returning to Canada, she met Francois Dubé in Vancouver. Francois became her husband to be, the love of her life and companion. Her nickname from him was “Bug” as she loved to be in her bed. They both eventually resided and enjoyed life on the family homestead, which was established in 1905 when her ancestors emigrated from Finland.

As the years passed, they rescued many animals – mostly cats. Esther and Francois went on to adopt and care for hundreds of cats through many years. She was an advocate for the SPCA and couldn’t resist saving the life of another cat so they wouldn’t be euthanized. When these policies changed, they didn’t take on any more cats. They lived a special life with an addition made just for the cats.

Francois passed away suddenly in 2015. Esther went on to stay on the homestead farm with much help from friends and family caregivers until she was unable to live and care for herself. In 2018, she moved to the Hamlets in the Dementia Unit.

She loved Dinner Theaters, the penne pasta at Boston Pizza, tea and cookies, books, animals and special visits from the prominent people in her life. She had no children but had many friends and loving family members and caregivers that she leaves behind has her special people. She will be missed by so many, including Lorne and Cheryl Fitch, Bette and Walter Gathercole, Rod and Arlene Gathercole, Jacynda (nee Gathercole) Graham and family, Hugo Dubé and many more friends and family.

At Esther’s request, there will be no funeral service.

Condolences may be offered to family and friends below.


Mike and Cindy King:

So sorry for your loss. A very special lady with a loving and caring heart. She will be missed by many, but the memories will remain.

Post Your Condolence

Please note your condolence will be published on this website, but not immediately. All condolences are reviewed before posting. Privacy and Terms

Our family is committed to caring for your family regardless of race or religion. We provide attentive, compassionate service from the first phone call until long after the funeral is over.

We will help you plan a service, assist you with the many choices and provide support for you and your loved ones in your time of grief. We know every family is unique, and we strive to help you make each service a personal tribute.

Visit our Rocky Mountain House Funeral Home website.

Sylvan Lake Funeral Home is owned and operated by Flinn Funeral Services Ltd

Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved


Funeral Home Website, Sylvan Lake: Jensii