Washington - Alvin Willard Esser of Washington was born Dec. 30, 1920, and passed away to his eternal rest on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at the age of 93.
Preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Jane Laycock Esser; his father, August Esser; mother, Lydia Ficht Esser; his older sister Blanche M. Esser, and a brother who passed away at an early age.
Alvin Esser graduated from Washington Community High School, class of 1938.
He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in World War II. He was stationed in the United Kingdom and was part of the Allied invasion of France to defeat the Nazis. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in battle. He completed his tour of duty as a bookkeeper for the Army and returned to Washington, Ill.
He often told the story that his fiance, Phyllis Jane Laycock, met his bus when he arrived home from the war, and they were married on Oct. 15, 1947.
Alvin Esser worked for several years for his father's real estate business, Washington Realty, handling real estate transactions. His career was spent working for the TP&W Railroad in the rate department and he retired after nearly 30 years of service.
Alvin Esser and his wife loved dogs and had a series of terriers to keep them company. He enjoyed golf, going out for dinner, driving through the countryside, and he was a HAM radio operator for many years.
He faithfully cared for his wife through her illnesses and death from cancer in 1995.
He was a dedicated member at St. Marks Lutheran Church in Washington, where he served as an usher for many years.
Services will be Monday, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m. at Mason-White Funeral Home, 20 Valley Forge Road, with visitation one hour preceding the service. Pastor John Bates of St. Mark's Lutheran Church will be conducting the service.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Washington.
The family wishes to thank the staff from Helping Hands, Harbor Lights Hospice and the Grand Victorian of Washington for their care for Alvin Esser.