Esther Mary Feliz Lockhart, devoted mother, sister, grandmother, cousin, and auntie, passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on February 25, 2023. Esther was born on July 23rd in 1925 in Hopland to Mother Mandy Knight and Father, Necho Feliz. A member of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Esther grew up on the reservation with her nine brothers and sisters. As a child, Esther took care of her younger siblings while her mom worked in the fields, played outside, and enjoyed solving puzzles. Esther attended elementary school on the reservation, and in the town Hopland. During High School, she walked from the reservation to Hopland High where she played all the sports, played the trumpet in the traveling marching band, and liked to dance. A devoted catholic from a very young age, Esther cleaned houses to earn money to buy her own dresses for church on Sundays.
After graduating high school, Esther moved to the city of Oakland to start her career working as a telephone information operator for the Pacific Bell phone company. She worked in the city for three years until she could transfer to the phone company located in Ukiah. Esther dedicated 28 years to Pacific Bell, often working the night shift until her retirement in the early 80s.
Esther married Francis Lockhart in the late 1940s. They raised six children, on the Pinoleville Reservation. Esther, her husband, and her children were all hard working and were known to drive tractor in vineyards, pick hops, prunes, pears, and grapes, cut firewood, and tend herds of cattle from time to time.
Later in her life, Esther moved into Ukiah. Over the years, Esther opened her home to elders, extended family, and her own siblings at times of need. All her life, Esther enjoyed going to church, praying the rosary, watching baseball games on TV, listening to country music, gardening, enjoying her flowers, taking in the view of the western hills out her window, tootsie rolls, playing cards, doing puzzles, watching her grandchildren and great grandchildren grow up, and visits from family and friends. She always felt very fortunate to have lived a long, healthy life.
Esther is proceeded in death by Francis Lockhart, and her children, Sharon Lockhart, Ernest Lockhart, Edwin Lockhart and grandson, Gabriel Swanson. She is survived by her children Vernon Lockhart, Onieta James and Marilyn Roman and grandchildren; Jason Lockhart, Rocky James, Early Jim James, Cole James, Wauseka James, Emily James, Leo James, Hastin James, Alissa Lockhart-Moore, Heidi Lockhart, Bonnie Lockhart, Sequoia Lockhart, Matt Mathews, Isaac Mathews, twenty-four great grandchildren, sixteen great-great grandchildren, many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Rosary and Mass was held at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Ukiah at 11 AM on March 7th. Burial was at Hopland Reservation Cemetery, on March 7th at 1PM. Reception to follow at the Hopland Community Center.