In Memory

Rev Paul Esser

Rev. Paul M. Esser

1931 - 2015

Rev. Paul M. Esser, age 83, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, at Shorehaven Health Center, Oconomowoc, Wis.

Father Esser was born in Milwaukee, Wis., on June 26, 1931, the son of the late Joseph T. and Anna C. (Nee: Duero) Esser. Graduating from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Fr. Esser was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1957, in St. John Cathedral, Milwaukee, by Archbishop Albert G. Meyer.

Father Esser served as associate pastor at St. Catherine, Milwaukee. He spent seven years as teacher and counselor at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wis. In 1967 he was appointed principal at Messmer High School in Milwaukee, and in 1970 he was appointed principal of St. Joseph High School in Kenosha. Archbishop William Cousins appointed him founding director of the Milwaukee Permanent Diaconate Program in 1973. Returning to parish life in 1980, Fr. Esser became pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish in West Allis. Continuing parish ministry, Father became pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Racine, Wis. in 1991 a position he held until 2005. During this time he was privileged to supervise the building of a new church and parish office and meeting room complex. On June 30, 2005, Fr. Esser retired. In retirement he offered assistance at various parishes, joined the speakers' bureau of Catholic Relief Services and coordinated the Archdiocesan Hurricane Katrina Relief Program. He was a member of the Archdiocesan Priest Council, District Dean, Executive Secretary of the Priest Personnel Board, and held national offices, among them National head of the Jesus Caritas Fraternity of priests.

Survivors include his sisters and brother, Lois Bach, Marjorie Frederick, Eunice Esser, all of Milwaukee, Marie Hansen of Tucson, Ariz., J. Thomas (Mary) Esser of Milwaukee; over ninety nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.

In addition to his parents, Father was preceded in death by his half brother, Eli (Hazel) Esser; his brothers, Joseph O., Robert E (Marjorie); sister, Grace Esser; brothers-in-law, Wilfred Horner and James Bach, George Frederick, and Robert Hansen.

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial for Father Paul M. Esser will be celebrated Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, 12 Noon at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 6400 Spring Street, Racine. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Saturday at the church from 9 a.m. until time of Mass at 12 Noon. Private interment will be held at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Milwaukee. In lieu of flowers, Memorials to St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee have been suggested.

A special thank you to the staff at Shorehaven in Oconomowoc and to Prohealth Hospice for all of their loving and compassionate care.