William Esslinger

Obituary of William Esslinger

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It is with great sadness that the family of William Esslinger of Karsdale, Annapolis County, announce his death on Thursday, June 23. Bill died peacefully at home at the age of 93 after an illness of 2 months. Beloved husband of Anne Elizabeth (nee Thexton), Bill was the much-loved father of William Robert (Louise), Baie d'Urfe, PQ, Ellen Winifred Riley, Bradenton, Fl., George Matthew (Andrea Patriquin), San Francisco, CA, and Mary Elizabeth Ritchie (Daniel), Karsdale, NS. Also left to grieve are dear grandchildren Krista (Bryn Edgeley), Lindsay (Ryan Clarke) and Lorne Esslinger, Michael (Laura), Dylan, Erica and Hunter Riley, and Marina and Owen Ritchie, as well as Bill's only nephew, Dr. Wolfgang Cotic (Margot), Ludwigsburg, Germany, and their children Dr. Christine and Matthias. Bill was pre-deceased by his parents, Wilhelm Friedrich and Marie (Ruud), Stuttgart, Germany, and by his elder sister, Ella Cotic. Conscripted into the German army in 1938, Bill was severely wounded in Poland on September 16, 1939. After a convalescence of two years in Vienna and at home in Stuttgart, he became a student at Tuebingen University, from which he graduated with a PhD in Economics in 1948. During his graduate studies, Bill served as secretary to the textile federation of Southwestern Germany. In 1950 he flew to Toronto as a delegate to an international trade fair, and was enrolled as a landed immigrant, receiving his Canadian citizenship in 1956. For the next several years, residing with Anne and the children on a farm north of Toronto, he travelled extensively as a management consultant with the then Peat Marwick Mitchell and Co. Bill worked with such firms as Fleetwood Logging, Campbell Chibougamou Mines and Algoma Steel. In 1961 the family moved to Montreal when Bill purchased the food company CA Sales (later Delico Ltd) which he operated until its sale in 1982 to Canada Starch, Ltd. After a brief retirement, during which he and Anne moved to their summer home in Karsdale, Bill purchased the nine-hole Hillsdale Golf Club, which was in danger of being sold and turned into building lots. Renamed the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club, Bill operated the course for the next 25 years (during which it was expanded to 18 holes) until its sale in 2005, after which Bill really retired to tend his grape vines and his woodlot. A noted skier and climber in his youth, for many years and well into retirement Bill skied each March in Austria, Switzerland or Italy, and every August he hiked in the Rockies at Lake Louise and Lake O'Hara. There will be visitations at the Kaulbach Funeral Home Annapolis Royal on Thursday, June 30, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9, followed later in the week by a private family burial service in Christ Church cemetery, Karsdale. Cremation has taken place. Our thanks to Bill's kind caregivers over the past weeks and very special thanks to Dr. Ken Buchholz for his wonderful care. Donations in Bill's memory to the Annapolis Community Health Care Foundation will be gratefully accepted. Online condolences may be sent to www.kaulbachfamilyfuneralhome.com
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