Father James William Esper
After a long illness Fr. James W. Esper, pastor emeritus of St. Mary’s in Chesterville, passed away on Tues., March 16, 2010 in Winchester District Memorial Hospital in his 76th year.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 15, 1934, Fr. Esper was ordained in Orvieto, Italy in 1960. His first nine years of priestly ministry were spent in the United States. Coming to the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ont. in 1970, he served successively as pastor of St. Barnaby’s Parish, Brewers Mills; Annunciation Parish, Enterprise, and St. Mary of the Presentation Parish, Chesterville. He also served in prison ministry 10 years part-time and one year full-time.
Fr. Esper would have marked the 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on August 14 of this year.
He was the beloved son of the late Joseph and Leona (Kunzen). He was the devoted brother of John (late Margaret Melko) of Greenville, SC., the late Jeanne (late Ross) LiPera, Fr. Jerome, C.S.C. of Notre Dame, IN., and the late Joseph (late Mary Zbikowski). He was the fond uncle of many nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, and two great-great-nephews.
Family and friends were received at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Chesterville on Mon., March 22 with rosary and vigil service. The funeral mass was celebrated on Tues., March 23 with Fr. Cosmas Ajawara officiating and Archbishop Brendan O’Brien in attendance. Burial was held on Wed., March 24 in St. Barnaby’s Parish churchyard, Brewers Mills. The pallbearers were Dr. Gabriel Slowey, Travis Carr, Len Streng, John Wilkie, Bernard Harper, Dennis Malloy, and Leonard Wheeler.
Donations may be made to St. Mary’s Parish in Chesterville.
Arrangements were entrusted to Daniels Funeral Chapels Inc. in Winchester (613-774-1117).