Charles Esper, my husband, my sweetheart and best friend died Tuesday, March 30. He was born to Gabe and Ruth Esper on October 22, 1942, the third child of eight in a very chaotic family that consisted of seven boys and one girl - Jamie, Eddie, Charlie, Johnny, Larry, Rita, Marty and Steve. His mother had the patience of a saint. Like her, Charlie was caring, considerate, generous and kind. He also had a wicked sense of humor and a bit of stubbornness.
I met Charlie in the sixth grade at St. Agnes Elementary School. I immediately decided he was the one for me. However, he didn’t necessarily agree with me. I then proceeded to “stalk” him the next three years. I continued to have a crush on him while we attended Central Catholic High School. He finally “caught” me the end of our senior year. (after I asked him out for our first date). We spent the next four years together with our best friends, Judy and Dan Carney and Mary Pat and Tom Kelly. Charlie worked at Printing Plates Inc. while I attended college. He became a journeyman lithographer and later worked at Reece Brothers until he retired in 2001.
We were married at St. Agnes Catholic Church June 27, 1964 and quickly started a family. Eric was born in 1965, Edie in 1966, David in 1967 and our last bundle of joy Julie in 1973. We were later blessed with our only grandchild, Elizabeth. During this time, we were very busy with the kids’ activities which included catching fish and snakes with Eric, Judo with Edie, Cub Scouts, dirt bikes with David and singing country songs with Julie. We spent many happy times at the family cottage on Harsen’s Island, MI. We also took fun vacations all over the United States. The highlight of our travels was a wonderful trip to Ireland.
Charlie was a great husband and father. He was always there to help and support his family. His children loved him dearly and he loved them in return. He stayed close to his siblings all his life. His friends considered him one of the good guys. Family meant everything to him; for example, he brought his mother to live with us for six years after his father died. He was truly a loving son who took care of her every need. Charlie meant the world to us and our world will not be the same without him. Your “Wild Irish Rose”, Kathleen.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jamie Walkup (Emmy), Eddie, John (Jane), and Marty (Carol); nephew, Doug; and cousins, Eugene, Patty and Bart Kennedy. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Kathleen; children, Eric, Edith, David and Julie; granddaughter, Elizabeth; sister, Rita Abi Zeid (George); brothers, Larry and Steve (Nancy); nieces, Tammy (Dan), Lorri (John), Jackie, Cristina (Arnold), Liza and Tara; nephews, Aaron (Pam), Johnny, Alan (Aleene), Tyler and Timmy (Chelsea); special son, Donald Gentry; and special daughter, Adrian Hill.
Visitation will be Tuesday, April 6 from 1-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. at Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 114 E. Alexis Rd. Funeral services will begin Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in the funeral home and continue with the Mass of Resurrection at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Temperance, MI. Interment will follow in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery.
All those attending visitation and services are asked to wear a facial covering and respect social distancing guidelines. Due to covid restrictions there will be a celebration in Charlie’s honor this summer. Memorial donations may be given to St. Louis Helping Hands or a charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences and memories may be shared on Charlie's tribute wall at www.sujkowski.com.
To send flowers to Charles' family, please visit our floral store.
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