Richard William Essling, 93, passed away on Sunday, August 19

Richard William Essling, 93, of St. Joseph, passed away on Sunday, August 19, 2018, at his home surrounded by his family.

Richard was born on July 19, 1925, in LaPorte, Indiana, to William and Agatha (Wendell) Essling.  He graduated from LaPorte High School in 1943.  He served in the United States Navy from 1943-1945, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries received as a result of enemy action during the invasion of France in June of 1944.  After the service, Richard attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana – receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1949.

Richard married Shirley J. Sjoberg on August 28, 1948, in LaPorte, Indiana.  They shared 69 years together until she preceded him in death in November of 2017.  He worked at Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor for 30 years in Marketing Services.  Richard loved working on his lawn and garden, putting puzzles together, reading the Chicago Tribune and watching Indiana University basketball and the Chicago Cubs.  His most cherished time was spent with his family.

Richard is survived by his three children, Steven (Joann) of Dowling, MI, Cindy (Bob) Diemond of Finchville, KY, and Sharon Essling of Bloomington, IL; grandchildren, Seth (Dr. Carla) Essling of Evansville, IN and Lynn Essling of Dowling, MI; great-grandchildren, Marcus, Vivian, Faye and Beau; and his sister, Elinor Myers of Bradington, FL, along with many nieces and nephews.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Agatha and William Essling, his wife, Shirley, and siblings Ruth Tobar and Thomas Essling.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2018, at 10:30AM, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 220 Church Street, St. Joseph, MI, with Father Harold Potter officiating.  Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, August 25, 2018, from 9:30AM until the time of service.  Burial will be follow at Hickory Bluff Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Caring Circle Hospice of St. Joseph.  Those wishing to leave a condolence online may do so at

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