Gilbert J. Esser

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MIDDLETON–Gilbert J. Esser, age 93, of Middleton, passed away on Jan. 21, 2020. He was born on Sept. 11, 1926, on the family farm in Middleton, the youngest child of Peter and Elizabeth (Bronner) Esser. Gilbert graduated from Middleton High School in 1944, and on May 21, 1947, he married the love of his life, Arlene Vosen.

Gilbert proudly worked as a farmer with his father and brother, Leo, on the family farms known as Esser Bros. Throughout his life, he was active in the local farming community. He always kept up with the crop and cattle cost with the farm report, even when he wasn’t physically able but was still actively involved with the farm. He was a lifetime member of St. Bernard Catholic Church. Gilbert loved traveling with his family, attending social card club with other local farmers and being with his dogs. He was known for his witty knowledge and he enjoyed conversation with any and every one. He touched the lives of everyone who was lucky to know him.

Gilbert is survived by his children, James L. (Sharon) Esser, Carol A. Esser, Kathleen M. (George) Brumm and Thomas C. Esser; daughter-in-law, Kathy Esser; grandchildren, Barbara Esser, Paul (Vicky) Esser, David (Jen) Esser, Cori (Tad) Stepan, Geoff (Tammy) Esser, Tami (Austin) Ripp and Brian (Caitlin) Esser; great-grandchildren, Marissa and Keira Esser, Kade and Trent Stepan, Zachary and Madelyn Esser, and Emma, Axel and Beau Ripp; and many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Arlene; son, Michael Esser, his parents; brothers and sisters, Regina Anderson, Leo Esser, Martha Esser, Joe Esser and Helen Annen; and daughter-in-law, Doris (Acker) Esser. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 7450 University Ave., Middleton, at 11 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2020, with Father Brian Wilk presiding. Burial followed at St. Bernard Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be  held at Gunderson West Funeral and Cremation Care, 7435 University Ave., Middleton, from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2020, and also at the church from 10 a.m. until the start of the Mass on Tuesday.

The family would like to thank Brookdale Madison West for their compassion and tender care. Memorials in Gilbert’s name may be made to St. Bernard Catholic Church or Agrace HospiceCare. Online condolences may be made at

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