Esther Hollands Kays, of Hornell

HORNELL-Esther Hollands Kays, 92, formerly of Thacher St. and a resident of Elderwood at Hornell, passed away peacefully, in the presence of her loving family, Thursday morning (Jan. 26, 2017) at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell.

Born in Ithaca on March 2, 1924, Esther has resided in Hornell since the age of 13 and was adopted by the late M. Louise Hollands. She was also predeceased by her first husband, 2nd Lieutenant Harry Vanderhoff, who was killed in action during World War II, her second husband, Joseph E. Kays, who passed away in 2006; also her son, Lance Corporal Donald Vanderhoff, her daughter, Helen “Sunny” Vanderhoff, her brother, Donald Hollands as well as her two great-grandchildren.

She was a graduate of Hornell High School and owned and operated for about 10 years The Browse House, an antique shop, originally located on Church Street and later on Seneca Street in Hornell.

Esther also dedicated her life to her family and was very proud being a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Throughout the years she volunteered her time with several different organizations in the community. She loved animals, especially cats, dogs and horses.

Her loving family includes her three surviving children, Stephen (Sue) Kays of Almond, Michael (Judy) Kays of York, Pa. and Laurie Kays of Canaseraga; also her 10 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of Esther Hollands Kays.

Calling hours are 1- 3 p.m. Saturday at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc, 285 Main St., Hornell where a funeral and committal service will be held following calling hours at 3 p.m. Saturday, with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to either the Hornell Area Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, N.Y. 14843 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 435 E. Henrietta Road, Rochester, N.Y. 14620. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.

Online condolences remembrances of Esther are welcomed at

Her family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Randhawa, Dr. Hariprasad, Michael Mathieson, PA, nurse Melissa and the staff of the second floor of St. James Mercy Hospital for the wonderful care they gave to Esther before she passed away.