Esther (Estelle) was born in Chicago on August 24, 1920, in the back of the family's uphostery store at 417 S. Kedzie. She did not like the name Esther, so she simply changed it to Estelle in the 1st grade. Estelle's nickname is Butsie. Rumor has it, that Ben, thought she was so cute as an infant that he called her "Cutsie". That progressed to "Butsie", and so it remained.
She attended Marshall High School, and graduated in 1938. She excelled in sports, and was on the swim team, in water ballet, and was also a life guard. Apparently she liked water sports so much that during an incident of sleepwalking she was found “swimming” in her mother’s pantry. She was also active in drama and the glee club, and appeared in several plays and concerts.
When she was 16, she went to a sandlot baseball game, and spied the pitcher, David Salnitsky, and decided on the spot that he was going to be the father of her children. They were married on July 2, 1941. They now have been married over 65 years.
David went into service in 1942, and Butsie followed him from camp to camp. At the end of the war, they moved into 3114 Warren. Their first child, Donna, was born in 1945, and unfortunately, passed away four years later due to pneumonia. Shelley was born on May 31, 1947, then Janet Joy on September 13, 1949, twelve days after Donna’s death.
Laurie was born on June 23, 1951. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to their first house, at 1614 N. Laurel. They lived there until they moved in 1956 to 1420 Lee, in Winston Park. After the three kids graduated high school, they moved to 7055 Kilborne, in Lincolnwood, where they reside today. When their kids were grown, they purchased a Motor Home, and traveled the country. They also have toured Europe 4 times
Butsie is well known for her her thank you notes and letter writting. Whenever a product failed to please, she would write to the manufacturer. Her letter of rebuttal to French compaints about “gum chewing Americans” was even published in The Chicago Tribune. She stays in touch with people she hasn’t seen in decades with her letters - all done on a manual typewriter.
She is passionate about reading, history and, in younger days, travel. She also loves a good garage sale and has often had garage sales of her own to sell off everything that has accummulated. She also wears both the pants and the skirt in the family, handling all the family affairs, finances, and household tasks.
Her kindness and warmth towards all her relatives and neighbors is well known. Many of the children in her neighborhood think of Butsie and Dave as their grandparents. She has 2 grandchildren, Shaun and Tara, and 3 greatgrandchildren, Sebastian, Gershon, and Avigail.
on images to enlarge*
contents copyright 2006