March 2, 1924 - January 11, 2018

MOLINE - Esther Schiff, age 93, of Moline, died Thursday, January 11, 2018, at Hope Creek Care Center, East Moline.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at Tri City Jewish Center Hebrew Cemetery, Rock Island. Esterdahl Mortuary is assisting the family.

Esther, a Holocaust survivor, was born on March 2, 1924, in Kalisz, Poland, the daughter of Nuchem and Jetta Lipski Stiller. Esther escaped the Nazi death camps by hiding out as a non-Jew in Poland and Germany until the German surrender in May 1945. Her family, who were rounded up when Esther was only 14 years old, perished at the hands of the Nazis. When she was liberated, Esther worked as a mess hall waitress in Freising, Germany. There she met American soldier, Saul Schiff, who she married on November 16, 1946, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

In New Jersey, Esther and Saul raised two children, and Esther worked as a waitress and cashier to help with family finances. Esther teamed up with Saul to help him achieve his mid-life goal of becoming a mechanical engineer. When their children were grown, Esther encouraged her husband to move to the Quad-Cities to accept a promotion at the Rock Island Arsenal.

Esther truly earned the honorary Ph.T (Push Hubby Through) degree she received from Newark College of Engineering (which is now the N.J. Institute of Technology.

Esther loved playing Mah Jongg and watching “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”

She was preceded in death by her family in Poland, her husband, Saul, and her son, Stephen.

Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Jacqueline Schiff, Moline; grandchildren, Dina Massachi (Jon), Charlotte, North Carolina; Jeremy Schiff, Baltimore, Maryland; and great-grandbaby, Judah Massachi of Charlotte. Esther’s family would like to thank our Hope Creek family for their love, support and compassionate professional care. Special thanks to nurses Cory, Andrea, Jill, Sarah, the loving CNAs, activities staff and front-desk team who “adopted” us. Endless thanks to Jenny Kitsis of the Jewish Federation for always being there for us.

Memorials may be made to the Jewish Federation of the Quad-Cities (Rock Island), Hope Creek Care Center, or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be shared online by visiting

the life of: Esther Schiff
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