Thomas Martin Esterline, Sr.
Tom, 74, passed away on Saturday, August 31, 2013. Tom was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis. He was a proud third-generation owner of Eagle Creek Nursery where he had worked since 1952.
Mr. Esterline was a graduate of Park School class of 1957. He played basketball, football and baseball. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture from Michigan State University in 1962. He was a life member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
He served in the Indiana Air National Guard from 1962 until 1968, when he was honorably discharged. He was a member for many years of the Kennington Post of the American Legion in Broad Ripple and more recently of the Riders Post in Zionsville.
Mr. Esterline was recognized in 2004 as an honored member of the Indianapolis Landscape Association and served as president of the organization in 1972. He was also a member of the Indianapolis Dramatic Club and participated in three plays. He was a volunteer coach at First Baptist Church where he coached several of his children as well as a grandson.
He was known for his love of racing, specifically the Indianapolis 500, which he had attended every year since 1950. He also enjoyed his trips to the casino. He will be remembered for his humor, wit, smile, laughter, and a genuine interest in people, but he will be remembered most for the love of his family. He occupied himself later in life with his many hobbies.
Tom is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Katheryn (Kate) Mahaffey Esterline; his sister, Jane Esterline Darmer, Indianapolis; and his two brothers: John W. Esterline III, Chicago, IL and Charles C. Esterline (Nicole), Indianapolis; his six children: Thomas Martin Esterline, Jr. (Angie Taksony), Indianapolis; Daniel Merrill Esterline (Colleen Williams), Lakeland, FL; Elizabeth Esterline Roush (Matt), Zionsville; Sarah Esterline Sampson (Jon), Zionsville; Susanna Esterline Arnold (Michael), Chicago, IL; William Merrill Esterline (Lauren Voors), La Verne, CA; and his twenty-seven grandchildren: Riley Thomas Roush, Courtney Katheryn Sampson, Reagan Daniel Roush, Kaelan Kiley Roush, Cally Kathleen Sampson, Cassidy Kiley Sampson, Alexander Jon Sampson, Thomas Martin Esterline III, Jack William Sampson, Anna Kathleen Esterline, Dasha Kate Roush, Lily Katheryn Roush, Carson Kate Sampson, Jason Gary Esterline, Caroline Kelly Sampson, Isabella Rose Roush, Katheryn Kiley Esterline, Addison Jane Sampson, Leo Merrill Roush, Ava Jane Arnold, Georgia Kate Esterline, Angus Daniel Esterline, Cooper Thomas Sampson, Charlotte Mae Arnold, Emily Katheryn Esterline, Logan Daniel Sampson and Frankie Thomas Esterline as well as fifteen nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Merrill Brown Esterline and Marion Cunningham Esterline; and his brother-in-law, Robert Darmer, Sr.
Both Visitation and the funeral service will be held at St. Monica's Catholic Church, 6131 N. Michigan Road. Visitation with family and friends will be held on Friday, September 6th from 4:00pm until 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, September 7th, there will be an hour of visitation at 9:00 a.m. prior to the funeral service, which will begin at 10:00 a.m.
The family wishes to thank all of the caregivers, doctors and nurses at St. Francis Hospital and St. Vincent Hospital. Contributions in memory of Tom can be made to Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, 1920 W. Morris St. Indianapolis, IN, 46221 (http://www.maryrigg.org). Flanner and Buchanan - Zionsville is handling arrangements. http://www.flannerbuchanan.com.