Robert Esposito
FUNERAL HOME
Hillsborough Funeral Home
796 Rt. 206
Hillsborough, NJ
Robert Esposito

Belle Mead - In the early hours of Sunday, December 30th, 2018, the world lost one-of-a-kind. Robert Esposito, of Belle Mead, NJ succumbed to leukemia after a two-year battle he fought with bravery, pride and the extraordinary love of the remarkable family he built. Bob is survived by his beloved wife Karen, daughter Taryn, son Bryan, sister Carol, son and daughter-in law Rich and Courtney, and grandchildren Payton, Margaret, Alexander and Elizabeth - all of whom he cherished with great pride. A 1967 graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan West, and the University of South Carolina in 1971, Bob spent the last 45 years of his life welcoming friends, family, regulars and complete strangers into the front door of Espo's Restaurant on Second Street in Raritan, NJ. The food, the drinks, the atmosphere, the volume, and the laughter were all a direct reflection of Bob Esposito. The restaurant will always hold a special place in so many people's hearts - but not nearly as many as the man does. If you were fortunate enough to know Bob, you are better for it. He was selfless. He was kind. His absence will be mourned by many for a long time, but his life will be celebrated and appreciated by his true friends and family forever. Cheers Bob! Rest well. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday January 3rd at 10am in St. Ann's Church, 45 Anderson Street, Raritan, NJ 08869. Visiting for family and friends will be Wednesday January 2nd from 5pm-9pm in the Hillsborough Funeral Home, 796 US Hwy 206, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.



Published by Courier News on Dec. 31, 2018.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Jan
3
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00a.m.
St. Ann's Church
45 Anderson Street,, Raritan, NJ
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Hillsborough Funeral Home
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68 Entries
Ken and Michele Creasy , Easton Pa
December 31, 2019
Ken and Michele Creasy , Easton Pa
December 31, 2019
My father took my on my first train ride to Raritan in 1974. I was only 10, My father asked the conductor if there was somewhere to get something to eat. He said a new bar had just opened down the street from the station. My father had a beer and I had a hamburger while we waited for the train back. When I visited Espos in 2014, the bartender asked if it was my first time there. I told him it was as Espos, but that I had been there in 1974. Bob was sitting at the end of the bar. I walked down and told him the story. He said " the bartender that night most have been me, as I had just bought the place." It's one of my best memories as a kid, and I was thrilled to share it with him. My condolences.
Rich Monahan
July 9, 2019
Karen ,

I was so sorry to hear of Bob's passing yesterday when I returned to the area .

When thinking of Bob , the well earned thoughts are

Best In Class Person
Genuine
Kind
Generous
Loyal
Caring
Hard Working
Hilarious

Simply a man who loved his family , employees & customers .
Robert Donovan
February 22, 2019
So very sorry to hear this news. My husband and I went to espos 35 years ago every Friday night for date night we got married had kids and still frequented this special place. He was always there working or sitting on his stool always so nice and welcoming always remembered us. What a terrible loss and so sorry this place is no longer open what a terrible loss. He will be in heaven for sure he was one of the good guys
January 26, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear of Bobby's passing. He was like a welcoming friend every time i passed through the doors of Espo's. I've been eating there since it opened (and at short lived Anthony's before Espo's). The first time I walked in I was I captivated by the ambiance and friendly staff. It had a relaxed atmosphere and felt like home. Bob was a consummate host and always made sure the customers were treated like family. My wife and I had our first date there in 1979 and it has always been our favorite Italian restaurant bar none. When eating at other Italian restaurants Espo's was the gold standard our first comment was always "the food is good but not as good as Espo's". it is truly the end of era but I count myself fortunate to have discovered this hidden gem that was graced by an owner who truly loved what he did and it showed.
David M.
January 26, 2019
Condolences to Karen and the entire Esposito family. I worked at Espo's for four years and enjoyed working for Bob and as well as with the others (Phil, Dave, Ken, Keith, Jane to name a few) and it was a great place to work at. Though I don't get back to Raritan much these days, I always tried to get there for a meal and to see Bob and the guys when I was in the area. I will certainly miss Bob and Espo's (a true landmark in Raritan that will never be replaced).
Angelo Bernabe
January 18, 2019
I can't think of any other restaurant or establishment other than Espos that I have been going to for over 35 years. Bobs deep voided hello and strong hand shake with a thank you on the way out will be engrained in my thoughts forever.
We will miss you Bob.
Rest in peace my friend.
Joe Hann
January 18, 2019
Bob was a rock star! So many good memories over the years at Espos, because he regarded his customers and employees as friends, and never a glitch in operations. Thanks and peace to you Bob, family and friends!
Tim Weidner
January 9, 2019
We had our first date at Espo's in February 1995. Bob's hugs and handshakes, his jokes, his affection for his employees, love for his family, and gratitude to his customers made his business unique and his friendship irreplaceable. There is no way to express our sadness in words - just in tears. What a huge loss for us all.
Our sympathy to Karen and the rest of the family.
Kathy and Ken Schurkzy
January 4, 2019
When I think of Espo's, I think of more than just a nice warm fantastic Italian dinner. I think of family, I think of my children growing up in the high chairs making a mess. I think of Billy laughing at Brandon dropping his meatball, I think of their 1st female waitress, Leanne, who I named my daughter after. I think of the many veal parmesan with ziti with meat sauce dinners that Bob bought for my dog spike. I think of being surprised on my birthday looking at my check and seeing "Happy Birthday, your dinner is on Espo" I think of telling Bob we just got married! Or we're expecting our 1st child, or, spike really did enjoy that dinner while we watched the 3 stooges! My fondness for Espo's is way beyond most people's I would think, I was a great advocate of espo's to everybody I ever saw. I will always feel that way, and I am heartbroken beyond words. I'll always love you Bob, God-bless you always.. Kenny
Kenny Creasy
January 3, 2019
Your legacy will live on forever Bob. Forever.
Kenny Creasy
January 3, 2019
Kenny Creasy
January 3, 2019
Kenny Creasy
January 3, 2019
Kenny Creasy
January 3, 2019
So very sad to hear of such a great loss. Sad for Bob, his family and the closing of his, one of a kind, family resturant. We enjoyed so many meals at Espos!! Every year they supplied our traditional Espos lasagna for our family vacation at LBI. It won't be the same ❤ Our hearts break for you all.
Barbara Canavan
January 3, 2019
Bob was a great guy. No matter when we went to Espo's he never forgot your name. We have so many good memories of Bob and the Restaurant. RIP my friend!!!
Larry Murphy
January 3, 2019
You will be truly missed by all of us. Whenever we went to the restaurant or my parents went to Bobby and Karen's house for any occasion when their children were growing up they loved being a guest at their house. The fun at their home or restaurant words cannot express because of Bobby's fun personality. His kindness and welcoming was unbelievable. We are so sad to see you go and we will meet again. You were loved by everyone your family, customers and friends. Your Aunt Camille and Uncle Dom loved the food, atmosphere and just visiting made them happy. RIP Bobby.
Pamela, Doug and Family
Pamela, Douglas Tomaro and family
Doug Tomaro
January 2, 2019
Dear Karen, Taryn & Brian.
My heart is sad over the loss of Bob. Karen maybe one of the many memories that will make you smile during this difficult time. Do you remember? I still remember when the limo was picking up our family for the airport to go on vacation and Bob stood in the middle of the road with his Hawaiian shirt and gigantic sunglasses (clown size) with a sign that said Puerto RICO or bust. I still laugh and see his great big smile and his long good bye wave like it was yesterday. Bob you are truly one of a kind and will be missed by many.
My deepest sympathy
Maureen Ocleppo
January 2, 2019
I was alerted to Bob's obituary by my aunt, Terry
Esposito (widow of Rene), who lives in Florida.

I will tell my dad, George (son of George and Leona), who is 90 and lives in Toms River.

Am very sorry that Bob had to suffer and die still relatively young, and that so many years had passed since we last saw one another.

God bless, Bob. Rest in peace.
Gary Esposito
January 2, 2019
Sending love and strength during this time.
Bob was truly one of a kind and I enjoyed working with him thru the years, as did my Father.

Loss is never easy, but knowing how much love and joy Bob brought to others hopefully will help bring you peace.
Carrie (Hartzog) Dilgard
January 2, 2019
Virginia & Les Walten
January 2, 2019
On behalf of Audrey Esposito family we are so sorry for your loss. Memories will help over time.
Dana Turner
January 2, 2019
If there was a Hall of Fame for Restaurants and Restauranteers and caring about your customers Espos and Bob is in it. God Bless...Open an Espos in Heaven!!!!
Edward Ortelli
January 2, 2019
My husband and I were so sod to here about bobs passing. We have been going to Espos since we started datng that was 39 years ago. Bob treated us like family. He was one of the kindest and passionate people we have ever known. When our daughter passed away 5 yrs ago bob would not let us pay for our meal. He gave us the biggest hug!
Rip bob. Heaven could not ask for a kinder person!

Barb and Tim Hickey
January 2, 2019
Barbara Hicke
January 2, 2019
November 1979: My girlfriend, Mary Anne, introduced me to this little, out of the way Italian restaurant called Espo's. I wondered -- How did Mr. Espo remember who to seat' next on a busy Saturday night without taking any names?

December 2018: My wife, Mary Anne and I enjoyed another FANTASTIC MEAL and EXPERIENCE at Espo's. I still wondered -- How did Mr. Espo always remember who to seat' next on a busy Saturday night without taking any names?

Over the last four decades, Mr. Espo has not only consistently provided great Italian food but ALWAYS provided a magical place to relax, laugh, and celebrate special family events. Espo's has been a part of many, many, special memories for my family!

Espo's was our comfort food go-to restaurant. The menu and service always stayed the same for decades. This is a testament to Mr. Espo because to many of the regular customers Espo's wasn't just an Italian eating place it was an experience to be enjoyed and a place to transform a hectic day or week into a comfortable escape.

Thank you, Mr. Espo for being the constant that one can always count on throughout all these years.

Mr. Espo you will forever be remembered and have a special seat' in my family's memories. God bless you, Karen your wonderful wife, your entire family, and your dedicated staff at Espo's. RIP, Mr. Espo.
Steve & Mary Anne Petitt
January 1, 2019
To Karen and her family; Please accept my most sincere condolences in the passing of Bob. I was so saddened to learn that he was stricken with cancer. Bob was an awesome man; I remember that from the Montessori days and my family dining at Espo's. May God grant you and your family much solace during this most difficult time. If Bryan remembers my son Edward, he sends comfort to him.
Pat Chandler
January 1, 2019
a loved one
January 1, 2019
My condolences to Karen and the rest of Bob's family. My family has enjoyed many evenings at Espeo's of the last 40 years. Bob always made us feel like family. He will be dearly missed. RIP
Larry Rayhon
January 1, 2019
I was working for a local vendor in 1975 when I first met Bobby at Espos. We struck up a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Always at the door with a smile and a handshake. It was good food and wonderful memories, one of a kind place ! You'll be missed my friend . My condolences to Karen and the family .
Paul Bucossi
January 1, 2019
I was so sorry to hear about Bob,s passing and battle with cancer. My family and I considered Bob a friend as he was always involved with events in our lives. I will never forget how kind he was to my husband when my husband was in the hospital. Those donuts delivered with a booming voice and big smile was the best medicine. My sincere condolences to Karen and the family. With great fondness Sheila, Dina, and David Gabaeff
Sheila Gabaeff
January 1, 2019
Our Heartfelt Condolences go out to Bob's Family.
Having known him since I was 13 you could not find
a more considerate, loyal, and generous friend. His restaurant Espo's was truly an extension of his warmth and generosity. One would be hard pressed to find a more down home spot to fully enjoy a dining experience like Espo's. Although that beacon of light has dimmed a bit, the legacy of Robert Esposito, and those he touched will live forever. Rest well my friend and GOD BLESS YOU AND THE DAY THAT I FIRST MET YOU.
Tom
.
Thomas & Grace Reddington
January 1, 2019
So sorry to hear of Bobby's passing. My husband and I shared many of Espo's dinners. Bobby always sat near the door to say hello and shake your hand. Find peace that he is now welcoming new angels above.
Milissa
January 1, 2019
May the God of all comfort be with you all; 1Thessalonians 4: 13,14
January 1, 2019
So sorry to hear of Bob's passing. My husband and I I and brother's Eddie and Dudie always enjoyed Bob the food . May God bless his family as he will be missed. He was a very nice person to everyone who entered his establishment.
Anna
December 31, 2018
My sincere condolences to the family. May you find peace and comfort in God who hears your prayers and sees your tears. 2Kings 20:5
December 31, 2018
Many wonderful memories and wonderful food shared over many years. My sincerest condolences to you Karen and your Family.

Pat
December 31, 2018
You enriched our lives with you warm welcoming heart. Our entire family from Maine to California had at least one dinner at Espos. Such family fun. Thank you dear Bob. We thought of you as a friend. Espos has been our special place since 1978. You were well loved by all your patrons. We will miss you. God bless you Bob Esposito May you Rest In Peace.
Jane Blue
December 31, 2018
My deepest condolences to the family for the loss of your dear one.

Please take comfort from your fond memories and the
promise found at Isaiah 33:25.
Liz Rae
December 31, 2018
a loved one
December 31, 2018
From Hugh School through al the stages of His Life - He proved to be an inspiration and a truly accomplished Man. In all areas of Life -a blessing!
Linda Izzo
December 31, 2018
My sincere condonances to the family, Bob and my brother Phil Braco were good friends in school together I remember taking Phil to Bobby's house in finderne and picking him up later in the day. I was a two years older and we were always good friends. When working at Hoechst years later I would take my friends to Espo's for Lunch always a good time.
Bye my friend I will miss you at the front door!!
sandy braco nowak
December 31, 2018
My husband and I went on our second date to Espos over 23 years ago. Bob RIP and may God bless you and your family. Thanks for many wonderful memories!!
Jackie Mueller
December 31, 2018
Dear Karen and Family, I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your dear husband Bob. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. In reminiscing about our days working together at MHS I recall chatting in the media center & you waiting for Bob to pick you up from school to go shopping. You said he liked to help pick out your beautiful clothes. Although I didn't know him personally ,I'm sure he was an amazing man. Best Regards, Cindy Simmons
Cindy Simmons
December 31, 2018
To Karen and family...please know you are all in our hearts at this devastating time. Bobby has touched our hearts and tummy for many years, Debby since she was 18 , me since 23 now 40 years later.

Bobby will be surely be missed especially his big hugs, kisses and great smile when we walked into Espo's. Always had time for a conversation at the end of the bar.

Godspeed Bobby....see you in eternal life.
Nick and Debby
Zakashefski
December 31, 2018
So sad to hear of your loss. Our family frequently visited Espos for 40 years.
Bob &LouAnn Kwiatek
December 31, 2018
Bobby you will be greatly missed. You were my mother's favorite nephew. Espo's was a great place to visit whenever I was able to get to NJ. I am sadden by the news and will pray for the comfort for Karen and the family. You were a great kind hearted man that gave to so many people. RIP cousin Pam
Pamela Tomaro-D'Angio
December 31, 2018
Pamela Tomaro-D'Angio
December 31, 2018
Heartfelt condolences to the family. Rest In Peace, Bobby. Thanks for the many years of wonderful meals and memories. That so many will miss going to Espo's and seeing you there is a tremendous, loving tribute to the both the man and the place he created where so many felt welcomed.
Denise Lehman
December 31, 2018
Thank you Bob for the years of great food, and atmosphere. RIP big guy!!
December 31, 2018
There was a certain magic that Bob brought to Espos. I enjoyed many great times with friends and family over the last 25 years. Always welcoming. We offer prayers of comfort to your family. Rest easy, sir. Heaven is eating steak parm.
Ben Tucker
Friend
December 31, 2018
Truly a sad end to a year and an era, you brought many so much, may your family find peace in knowing you were loved by so many.
Roxann Cihanowyz
December 31, 2018
Heartfelt condolences to the family. May he Rest In Peace. Thanks for so many years of wonderful meals & memories - and the occasional complimentary after-dinner drink! Bobby & Espo's will be missed by so, so many people; a loving tribute to the man & the place he built.
Denise Lehman
December 31, 2018
As the time goes by hold on to the precious times you had together with your dear one, and hope in the God of peace and comfort.
December 31, 2018
So sorry to hear about Bobby. We went to Espos often. Bobby always sat at the end of the bar near the door and always greated everyone with a big smile. He will be missed

Doreen & Dave Armiger
Doreen Armiger
December 31, 2018
I have lifelong memories going to Espo's from when I was a child going with my parents, to when I brought each of my children in for the first time. An era and an iconic figure are both gone but will always be held strong in the memories of those who loved Bobby and his name sake one of a kind restaurant. I'll always remember Bobby as he was always seen. He appeared as a Captain of a ship steadfast at the helm over by the door. He would be ushering in the crowd and moving them over to the bar where they could order a drink while waiting for their table. Thinking back over the years, I can not remember a time day or night that he wasn't there. He was dedicated and truly put his life into the business. Over the years I've had many the opportunity to chat with Bobby and get to know him while waiting for my table. He was always larger than life and a great guy. We've celebrated a lot of milestones and family meals together over 3 generations, and it always felt like home. Thank you Bobby, Espo's (the place itself has its own personality), and the whole team that worked there for the lasting memories. My true heartfelt condolences to Bobby's family from my family.
Patrick Shimalla
Friend
December 31, 2018
RIP, Bob. We have enjoyed being welcomed by you for four decades. You will be missed. Our sincere condolences to your loving family.
Donna and Steven Timko
Acquaintance
December 30, 2018
My sincerest condolences to Bob's family. My brothers and I worked for him for years back in the 80's. It was my first real job. My father ate lunch there practically every day while delivering the mail.

Glenn Kohler
Glenn Kohler
December 30, 2018
I brought my beloved grandfather "Willie" from Queens who always loved the veal parm. When the 90 year old took his first bite the look in his face said it all. Steaks were $11.95 back then an I have taken so so many people that I have bought over 150 of those steaks and almost always Bob was there to great with his beautiful wife and her flower decorations. Tears are in my eyes as the last 30 years have kept Espos as my favorite place of people and great times. Even went before a root canal cause it made my heart and soul happy. May God bless you and your family for ever...........As yours has blessed mine.
Rafi Gardee
December 30, 2018
Thanks for all the good times. Always felt welcome and loved getting the corner seat next to u to chat. Some of our best memories of time spent with u, jeff, sally, George and Billy! U will b missed
Mike Moreland
Friend
December 30, 2018
Bobby & Karen were always gracious, kind & a class act. Its so sad that he is gone. Countless people will miss the experience that drew us to Espos. Its heart wrenching that Bobby is gone. My thoughts & prayers to the family he left behind, their loss is greater than we will ever know.
Diane Palchanes
Acquaintance
December 30, 2018
This man was a true gentlemen. He taught me a valuable lesson as a young man. I lived across the street in the early nineties. Can't believe he's gone may he rest in peace. God bless him...
December 30, 2018
A great man will be missed. You always made customers feel welcoming. Rest now.
Ann Holman
Friend
December 30, 2018
Remembering Bobby & sis, Carol back to when we all lived in Finderne. God Bless you Bobby & our deepest sympathies to your family.
Karen&Jerry Verrelli
December 30, 2018
Bobby was the life of Espos. He always made us feel welcomed and at home. Rest in peace Bobby.

Our thoughts and prayers to his family.
Marguerite & Ron Forster
December 30, 2018
My condolences to the family. Knew Bob and Karen from BRHS class of 1967.
Frequented Espo's and always had a great time talking to Bob. May He Rest in Peace.
Donna Turi Bielenica
December 30, 2018
My late husband,and I always,enjoyed the food and service at,Espos. May you rest in peace.
Barbara Cutlip
December 30, 2018
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