CRANSTON, R.I. – Esther I. Yanku died Feb. 11 at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center. Born and raised in Providence, she was a daughter of the late David and Bertha (Shaw) Lecht.
Esther was the wife of the late Leonard Yanku and a devoted mother of Robert Yanku (Lorraine) of North Kingstown, Alan Yanku (Cheri) of Lincoln, Steven Yanku (Gail) of Warwick, Lisa Maroni (David) of Cranston, and the late Sharyn Wilk. She was the dear sister of the late Haskell “Phil” Lecht and adored grandmother of Saul, Jason, Michelle, Sean, Alysha, Nathan, Mikaela, Brett, Max, Eric, Georgia and Jackson. With nine great-grandchildren, she was cherished by Levi, Tobias, Isiah, Drew, Ava, Mila, Braden, Molly and Anna.
A longtime resident of Cranston, she worked as a crossing guard in Providence in the 1950s and the Shepard Company department store during the 1960s. Esther had a 35-year career at Citizens Bank, serving the bulk of her career at their Cranston locations and later working at several other locations, including the corporate offices. Esther had a wide variety of interests and pursuits. Foremost, she loved and was very proud of her family and delighted in family gatherings. Loving to travel, she melded that passion with a part-time job as a travel agent, and for many years she traveled throughout the United States and around the world. She loved the performing arts and served as a volunteer at the Providence Performing Arts Center. She loved reading, dancing, dining out, and in her younger years, she was an accomplished bowler.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Jewish Collaborative Services.