In Memory of




Obituary for Esther Midler (Shemtov)

Esther Chemtov Midler
September 30, 1926 – November 19, 2021

Born in Cairo, Egypt to Luna and Ezra Chemtov, Esther emigrated to Haifa, Israel at age 21, and then to Chicago, Illinois at age 33, ultimately retiring in San Diego.

Beloved wife of Ben Midler, married for 70 years.
Adored mother of Tova Stein, Nurit Kotick and Ellen Winter.
Cherished grandmother of Gavin and Jared Stein, Michael and Brian Kotick, Danielle and Adam Winter.
She was the treasured Great Grandmother to Daniel and Theo Stein.

Esther met Ben Midler when she was in an all-girls agricultural school in Israel. They found each other and married very quickly, after Ben met her mother and won her approval. Esther and her sister had a double-wedding in the moshav where they lived.

Esther left her family in Israel to support her husband, as he had the chance to reconnect with family in America. In Israel, Esther left two sisters, a brother, and their extended families. She is survived by her youngest sister, Rachel, who still lives in Haifa. She was very close with her Israeli nieces and nephews.

Esther moved to the United States in 1959 and arrived in Chicago, where she raised her three daughters. She and Ben moved to San Diego for retirement in 1984, remaining close to the family.

She loved to make people laugh and she loved to tell stories and jokes. She wanted everyone to be happy and well fed. She loved her family fiercely and had a kind heart. She found joy in looking after her grandchildren and great grandchildren. “The luck of Esther” brought her many adventures, from Vegas, to gin rummy, to being a big time bingo winner.

Esther lived in many different countries and spoke seven languages fluently. She was best known for her sunny personality, and then for her cleanliness. She prided herself on filling the room with laughter. Esther knew a lot about a lot of things, she especially knew a lot about love. She was loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.