Esther Kratz

Program Coordinator

Esther has served many roles in her 28 years with Friendship Center and is consistently the crowd favorite. 

A native Santa Barbarian, Esther was born in Cottage Hospital and attended Montecito Union Elementary, Santa Barbara Junior and High Schools, where she played tennis. She got an elementary education degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (minored in Abnormal Psychology and Remedial Reading), and worked on her  BCLAD bilingual degree through Cal Lutheran. 

Esther babysat, taught Sunday School, rode horses, guided trail rides at San Ysidro Ranch, gave riding lessons and showed saddle bred horses as a kid. 

She taught elementary School in Paradise Camp near Cachuma Lake, where she chased rattlesnakes and tarantulas off of the playground and took the children to the stream to catch crawdads. She was head of a private Child Care Center in Charleston, SC, and then worked with Physically Handicapped preschoolers offering Physical and Occupational Therapy, also in Charleston.  She then taught Kindergarten then 2nd grade in Carpinteria.  

Esther’s father, a Presbyterian Minister in Montecito for 46 years and collector of antique autos, developed Alzheimer’s Disease and attended Friendship Center. After his passing, she returned to California with her daughter to be near her Mom. Esther was then drawn to working at Friendship Center, where she could share her great sense of humor with the wonderful seniors.

Esther loves animals having had cats, dogs, birds, rats, hamsters, horses, a monkey and fish. Unsurprisingly, she at one time wanted to be a Veterinarian! Her daughter, a UC Berkley grad, is happily married with a home in Northern California where she writes reviews of plays and is in several Bay Area Theater Critic Associations. 

Esther loves pizza, hot dogs, popcorn.  She has driven a 1922 Pierce Arrow, Packards with and without  rumble seats, Model T Fords, a Lincoln Zephyr, and took her first driving test in a ’52 Studebaker.  

In summary, Esther is awesome.