Bernard M. Esch
August 20, 1915 - January 20, 2015
flag Spacer Bernard M. Esch, age 99, died quietly in his Carlsbad, CA home on January 20, 2015 after a short illness.

He was born in Spalding, Nebraska to James Esch and Mary Keber-Esch on August 20, 1915, the first born of five children. His paternal grandparents were Mathias and Barbara Esch who immigrated from Mensdorf, Luxemborg in 1883, settling in Spalding NE in 1889. The two most important men in young Bernard’s life were his father, James, who died of appendicitis in 1924 when Bernard was nine years old, and his grandfather, Mathias, who helped care for Bernard and his four siblings thereafter.

Bernard grew up on the family farm, graduating from Spalding Academy high school in 1932 and thereafter from the Grand Island Business School. He was first employed by the Budweiser distribution facility in Grand Island, NE, and married Jane Elaine Ralph in 1937 in Greeley, NE. One son, William, blessed this marriage. Bernard, Jane and Bill moved to Washington DC in 1938 when Bernard began his career working for the US government. Jane Elaine succumbed to infection after a year-long illness in 1941.

Bernard was appointed to the position of US Postal Inspector in 1942, and married Teresa Ralph (Jane Elaine’s sister) in 1943 in Greeley, NE. They were blessed with two children, Fred born in 1951 and Linda born in 1953. After serving in Washington DC, Mobile AL, Greenville MS, Muskogee, OK, and Hastings, NE, Bernard retired in 1975 from his final post in Topeka, KS. Bernard moved his family to Carlsbad, CA in 1985 to enjoy the mild southern California climate.

Throughout his life, Bernard was industrious, a wonderful husband and father and an excellent role model. He assisted many friends with construction projects and repairs, being a very talented builder, electrician and mechanic. Bernard loved to hunt pheasants as a young man and his superb hand-eye coordination made him a formidable marksman. In his latter years, he loved sharing stories with his brothers on the telephone. He was loved by all as loyal and true and will be greatly missed.

Services will be at 1:30 PM on Friday, April 17, 2015 at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA. Interment will follow Mass at the Mission. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to your local hospice.

Published in the Hastings [NE] Tribune.
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Retired Postal Inspector Bernard Esch served in the Chattanoga and Kansas City Divisions. He was a NARPI member for many years. At the time of his death, we believe he was the oldest retired Postal Inspector.

Bernard Esch joined NARFE on 11-15-1991 and became a LIFE member on 11-1-2007. He was living in Carlsbad at the time of his death.