Bio: Esser, Raymond F. (1916 – 2009)
Contact: Duane Horn
Surnames: Esser, Gilles, Nehls, Dioka, Fitzmaurice
----Source: La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, La Crosse County, Wis.) Wednesday March 4, 2009
Esser, Raymond F. (29 May 1916 – 1 Mar. 2009)
Raymond "Ray" F. Esser
Alma Center, Wis.
Raymond "Ray" F. Esser, 92, of Alma Center died on Sunday, March 1, 2009, at Black River Memorial Hospital, Black River Falls.
He was born on May 29, 1916, in town of Garden Valley, Jackson County, Wis., to parents John and Helen (Gilles) Esser. He graduated from high school in Alma Center in 1933.
Ray worked as a bartender for his uncle in California and later in La Crosse (St. Joseph's Ridge). He entered military service in 1942, serving in the U.S. Army in Africa. He was honorably discharged in November 1945. In 1946, he entered into partnership with his brother, Robert, in the Esser Bar in Alma Center, acquiring full ownership in 1956. On April 27, 1984, he married Herli Nehls in Alma Center.
He was a lifetime member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and Alma Center VFW. He also belonged to the Jackson County Tavern League.
Ray will be remembered for his wonderful conversational skills and sense of humor. He had an extraordinary ability to remember names and faces and always took a genuine interest in people he encountered throughout his life. He will also be remembered for the great enjoyment he got from purchasing new automobiles. He also enjoyed completing daily crossword puzzles.
Ray is survived by three brothers, Harold Esser of Walla Walla, Wash., Claire (Laura) Esser of Alma Center and James (Marian) Esser of Spooner, Wis.; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Herli, on Feb. 11, 2007; brothers, Giles, Leo and Robert Esser; sisters-in-law, Vivian and Jean Esser; brother-in-law, Bob Fitzmaurice; and by his infant sister, Louise.
Funeral services for Raymond F. Esser will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Alma Center, with the Rev. Jude Dioka officiating.
Burial will take place in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Alma Center, with military rites by Alma Center VFW Post 8494. Friends may call at Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home, Hixton from 5 to 7 p.m. today with a parish rosary at 6:45 p.m. Friends may also call at the church on Thursday one hour prior to services.
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