Crystal “Cris” (Hardy) Esch passed away at her home on Saturday July 11, 2020.
Crystal Sue Hardy was born December 13, 1957 in Broken Bow to Wayne and Bette (Lewis) Hardy. The 3rd of 5 children she spent her child hood years in Anselmo, graduating from Anselmo-Merna high school in 1977. She then followed her lifelong passion of working with hair by attending the Grand Island School of Beauty. After graduating as a licensed beautician she worked for a short time at Bon’s Boutique forming a lifelong friendship with Bonnie Chapin.
Cris married Theodore “Ted” Lee Esch on June 2, 1979 at the Anselmo Methodist church. Ted brought to this union 2 children, Amber and Trent. Cris wrapped her arms around those 2 children and loved them as if they were her own. After the birth of her oldest, LaCosta on March 19, 1980 Cris took a break from working outside the home. Her life became helping Ted on the ranch and raising her children, adding Belinda on February 11, 1982 and Natasha April 11, 1984. When her girls got older she once again went to work as a cosmetologist at Hairtique. After losing LaCosta in a car accident on June 1, 1996 she took that loss and directed her pain into starting her own business and opened Costa’s in 1997 on the west side of the square where she was owner and operator until her passing.
Growing up in the country Cris did all the things country kids do. There were always horses to ride so she and her siblings spent hours on horses sharing with kids from town or anyone else that came visiting. Wayne and Bette were big supporters of 4-H and they made sure their children were active in 4-H. Cris took all the classic projects; cooking, sewing, baking, market steers, sheep and horses. Her love of 4-H carried on into her marriage. Ted loved it as much as she did and they made sure their kids had animals to show and helped with all the other projects that interested them. Much to Cris’s delight her kids passed that love on to her grandchildren so she had an excuse to be at the Custer County fair. As her grandchildren got old enough to participate in sports, dancing and 4-H you could always find her in the audience cheering them on.
Cris loved sports. During her high school years she played volleyball and was in pep club so she could go to all the games. She especially loved Husker sports (volleyball, football and baseball) and the Royals baseball. It wasn’t unusual for her to have 3 different games on at the same time, one on the living room tv, one on the kitchen tv and one on the radio or computer. She was even seen at games in Broken Bow that none of her family were participating in.
Cris loved babies. Period. If there was a baby in the room you could bet that she would be holding it! And she just simply loved all her family. She never let family pay for haircuts, because “you don’t charge family!” If anyone in her family needed anything she was there for them. She was active in the church and was one of the first to offer to help serve meals or anything else that needed to be done. She never liked being the center of attention; she just did what needed to be done without expecting accolades. She literally touched so many people (as in her hands on their hair). She often said you would be amazed what people will tell you while doing their hair but she never betrayed their trust in her by gossiping. Her loving strength carried her and her family through the loss of her parents, Ted’s parents, her daughter and then on May 31, 2014, Ted. She channeled her grief into helping others that had tragically lost a parent, a spouse or a child. She seemed to have a sense about the right thing to do and say and people were drawn to her. She opened her arms, her heart and her home to anyone that came into her life.
Cris is survived and will be deeply missed by her daughters Belinda (Jason) Chaplin and Natasha (Josh) Dalby all of Broken Bow. Grandkids Jayden Esch, Brice Chaplin, Brinlee Chaplin, Dagon Dalby, Darbie Dalby, Hannah Jones, and Josey Evans. Brother Dan (Linda) Hardy of Wahoo, NE, sisters Barb (Rob) Pellor of Anselmo, NE, Natalie (Kyle) Russell of Broken Bow, NE, and Evelyn (Dave) Christen of Broken Bow, NE. Several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
She is proceeded in death by her husband Ted, daughter LaCosta, her parents, and in-laws.
A private family memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 18 at the United Methodist Church in Broken Bow with Pastor Matt Fowler officiating. Burial will be in the Broken Bow Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed for the public at 10:00 a.m. at www.govierbrothers.com. The public is welcome to join the family at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning at the Broken Bow Cemetery for a graveside service. Memorials may be given to the Crystal Esch Memorial Fund in c/o Custer County Foundation, PO Box 304, Broken Bow, Nebraska 68822. A register book will be available to sign at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow until 5 PM on Friday July 17. Online condolences or words of encouragement may be left at www.govierbrothers.com.