Rev. Fr. Abraham "Abe" Esper
1951 - 2021
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Rev. Abraham "Fr. Abe" Esper 1951 - 2021
ROME - Rev. Abraham L. Esper, 69, passed away on Friday, February 12, 2021, at Abraham House, Rome.
He was born in Utica, on September 10, 1951, the oldest son of Louis and Helen Lewis Esper.
Father Esper was ordained to the Priesthood on June 8, 1985. He was an associate at St. Catherine's, Binghamton and Our Lady of Lourdes, Utica. Fr. Abe was the pastor of St. Stephen's, Oriskany, St. Paul's and St. Anne's, Whitesboro, St. Augustine's and St. Mary's, Baldwinsville and St. Anthony/ St. Patrick's, Chadwicks. Upon retirement, Fr. Abe resided at St. John the Baptist Church, Rome and spent time assisting his brother priests at parishes throughout the Diocese.
In 2020, Fr. Abe felt God calling him out of retirement to do more and he was appointed administrator of St. Mary's, Clinton, as well as celebrating weekend Mass at St. Anthony/ St. Patrick's, Chadwicks.
Fr. Abe leaves a niece, Erica, of Albany, as well as cousins, Tony (Josie) Esper, Carmen Esper, Joan Freeman and Ann Lewis. Fr. Abe was predeceased by his parents and his younger brothers, Louis, in 2016 and Jeffrey, in 2020. Fr. Abe and his brothers lost their mother at an early age, which left them with a deep void. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Riley.
At each parish, Fr. Abe made lifelong friends that he considered family. Fr. Abe was proud of his Lebanese heritage and enjoyed eating all of the Middle East delights. To all those who sent well wishes, cards, flowers, my favorite goodies and other presents these past few months; from the bottom of my heart, thank you. To all those who called and left messages of love and support, God bless you all. I have been overwhelmed by your love.
Vigil for a deceased Priest will be on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at 7:00 p.m., at St. John the Baptist Church, 210 E. Dominick St., Rome. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, February 19, 2021, at 12:00 noon, at St. John the Baptist Church, celebrated by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. Spring Burial will be in Kirkland Cemetery, Kirkland. Friends may call on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at the Nicholas J. Bush Funeral Home, Inc., 7751 Merrick Rd., Rome, from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend, is required to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, at St. John the Baptist Church and the Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 noon on Friday, will be live streamed at:
www.facebook.com/groups/stjohnbaptist13440
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be in Fr. Abe's name to: St. John the Baptist Church Endowment Fund, 210 E., Dominick St., Rome, NY 13440 or Abraham House of Rome, 417 N. Washington St., Rome, NY 13440.
To offer online condolences, please visit www.njbushfuneralhome.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Observer-Dispatch from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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23 entries
February 19, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
I’m glad I was able to get to know you. You will be missed. Your friend at slocum.
Alexandra
Friend
February 17, 2021
So much to be said about Father Abe! A ray of sunshine! Such an amazing, caring, gentle human being! He touched my heart and soul beyond words! So blessed he came into my life if only for a awhile! I will miss him and think of him often! Until we meet again my friend! May God always bless you!
Sheila Savoy
Friend
February 17, 2021
I went to high school with Abraham and his brother I can still remember him sitting behind me in class because everyone was seated alphabetically we had some good times
Christine Dunn
Classmate
February 17, 2021
I had the privilege of being a parishioner of St Paul’s in Whitesboro while Father Abe was Pastor from early childhood through high school, later relocating after college to Baldwinsville and being a parishioner of St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville during his tenure there. Father Abe was a very special person, a wonderful man of god and I will remember him fondly.
Matthew Gifford
February 17, 2021
My daughter and I were saddened to hear of Father Abe's passing. We only knew him for a short time at St Mary's in Clinton. He had a wonderful idea to have Mass once a month for our Faith Formation children and parents were invited to come too. He explained to the children everything he was doing during Mass and told a little bit of the History. I found this to be a great learning experience for the Children. Keeping Father Abe and his Family in our thoughts and Prayers.
Melanie O'Neil
February 16, 2021
I was saddened to learn of Father Abe’s passing. I consider it an honor to have known him. He was our pastor at St Paul’s In Whitesboro and we have many fond memories. Father was one of those priests you looked forward to listening to; his homilies always hitting home.
Father Abe thank you and may you fly with the angels.
A friend,
Maureen Mittiga
Friend
February 15, 2021
God's blessings on a very fine Pastor and a good friend.
Don & Marlene De Rosa
Friend
February 15, 2021
I am so incredibly sad at hearing of Fr Abe's passing. We met when he was the pastor at St. Mary's and quickly became friends, sharing morning coffee and conversation when I dropped my kids off at school. He was a kind and generous soul, great friend and spiritual advisor. He was a wonderful influence on my (at the time) teenage boys. Fr Abe and my family shared many good times together over the year. He knew my love for Lebanese cuisine and took every opportunity to share in that with me. He will always be in my heart and prayers. May God accept Fr Abe into His merciful and loving presence with a greeting of "well done, good and faithful servant". We will miss him.
Cindy Todd
Friend
February 14, 2021
We were so sorry when Father left St Mary’s . He was loved by the village of Baldwinsville also because he was so friendly and kind to all. John and Mary Salisbury

February 14, 2021
Truly a "priests" priest! Father Abe truly inspired Catholics with our sacred devotions to Our Blessed Holy Trinity, Sacred-Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Rosary and the Holy Eucharist. We will have numerous masses said for you. God bless our friend!

Janice and Samuel L. Russo, Jr. (Utica NY)
Janice and Samuel L. Russo Jr.
Friend
February 14, 2021
He was a kind man and good friend. Spent many days playing board games with him. He will certainly be missed.
Charlotte Leone
Friend
February 14, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.You were a true blessing to everyone you met.
Patricia Parry
February 14, 2021
Memories of a wonderful man. Rest In Peace my friend.

Diana Gauthier
Diana Gauthier
Friend
February 14, 2021
Father Abe was our Pastor when he was at St. Mary's in Bladwinsville, NY. He was a wonderful Priest and a good friend, I servied on the Parish Council for a couple of years and he joined us for dinner a few times. When he first came to our home he gave us a simple cross that is on the wall by our front door. Father Abe had a gentle heart and a great sense of humor. We will remember him always and will pray for and to him
David and Elizabeth Quilter
Friend
February 14, 2021
To the family of Father Abe,
It saddened me to learn of his passing He was a wonderful example of God’s Grace, and was so highly regarded by me, and my 2 sons, while they attended Our Lady of Lourdes School. Father Abe always made himself available to talk to us, and to help my boys navigate their way through separation and loss. He will always hold a special place in our hearts! May his soul rest in God’s eternal peace
Claudia Cardillo
Acquaintance
February 14, 2021
My friend for almost 40 years. We had great times at CKS in East Aurora and the years to follow. I truly miss him. Fr. Gerard McGlone...Diocese of Scranton
February 14, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful human and great priest. He was my pastor at St. Mary's and St. Augustine's and he will be missed but not forgotten. Rest In Peace, Father Abe. Leo & Lorraine - friends
Lorraine mccarthy
Friend
February 14, 2021
The doctors and staff of New Hartford Animal Hospital send their sincere condolences. We all loved seeing Father Esper and Riley and will surely miss hearing his voice. May he rest in the eternal arms of our Lord and Savior. RIP Father. You will be missed!
Marie McNamara
February 14, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. We are truly blessed to gave known you. Rest in peace.
Michelle ALLEN
Friend
February 14, 2021
Such a wonderful man. Rest In Peace
Jennifer Gauthier Carr
February 13, 2021
Rest in Peace Father Abe and God Bless. The Donohues
February 13, 2021
I remember Father Abe from when he was a pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes. He had a huge personality and brought a great deal of positivity into the lives of the parishioners. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Patrick Young
Student
February 13, 2021
Rest In Peace Abraham
Christine Dunn
Classmate
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