Donald Carl Esch, 81, of Homer, NE passed away on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at his residence. Services will be at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Hope Lutheran Church in South Sioux City, NE. Burial will be in Omaha Valley Cemetery, rural Homer, NE. Mohr Funeral Home, South Sioux City is handling arrangements.
Donald was born March 7, 1938 near Indianola, Nebraska to Zelma Pauline Burton Esch and Carl Esch. He grew up on a farm near Indianola and graduated from Indianola High School. He attended McCook Jr. College and was a graduate of Kearney State College. He taught school at Trumbull, Hooper, and Homer Community School. He spent thirty years teaching at West Middle School in Sioux City before retiring in June, 1997.
Don was married to Ila Surber Heck on June 21, 1967 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Homer. Since that time they resided in Homer.
He was a former member of the Homer Fire Dept., Homer Rescue Squad, Homer Town Board, President of Omaha Valley Cemetery Board, and taught First Aid for the American Red Cross for many years. He also served as a Board Member of Simpco and was a member of Sioux City Retired Teachers. He belonged to Hope Lutheran Church in South Sioux City where he served as an Elder.
He did substitute teaching at West Middle and West High School after his retirement. He enjoyed seeing his former students and co-workers. He enjoyed traveling, spending time doing family genealogy on his computer, and was an avid gardener.
Survivors include 3 step-children, David Heck, Janelle Lamb, and Jody Rohde; 8 step-grandchildren; 13 step-great-grandchildren; 1 sister-in-law, Rosemary Esch of Arlington, NE; 1 sister, Joyce Esch of Des Moines, WA; 6 nephews and nieces; and several great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; a brother, Rodney Esch; and a sister, Karen (Dick) Cummins.
"Mr Esch you were my 8th grade Civics teacher and a great one. I remember the day we had a solar eclipse you took the class outside and taught us how to look at it through a hole in paper onto another piece of paper. You never liked it when I would wear sweatpants to class. I was a jock I couldn?t help it. But when we had dress up day you loved it all the girls were in dresses, especially on 8th grade graduation. You were an amazing teacher and a great guy. I hope your family knows this how many lives you touched while being a teacher. Thank you And Godspeed "
"As children of Paul and Kathryn Rockwell of Sioux City, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Esch's family and friends. Mr. Esch was a good and constant friend of our parents."
"The SIMPCO Board of Directors and staff would like to extend our deepest condolences to your family during this difficult time."
"The SIMPCO Board of Directors and staff would like to extend our deepest condolences to your family during this difficult time. "
"I was very saddened to see Mr. Esch?s passing, he taught me at West Jr 40 yrs ago but I have ran into him in many places and the first time I saw him he remembered my name from jr high school, so impressive, was such a kind man, I will miss running into him RIP
Kathy DeHarty (Mote)"
"Such a good man and incredible teacher...will certainly be missed but heaven just gained another valuable player. RIP Mr. Esch and thank you for being the person you are. Mike Monk Class of 74"
"Mr. Esch, had the ability to make a kid want to learn. Thanks to him I enjoyed learning at West Jr. Im glad to hear he had a long life. He along with Mr. Renfro, Mr. Keck were my favorite teachers. "
"As soon as you seen him at the front of the classroom, you knew that it was going to be a great class. It may not have been what the teacher had chosen for the agenda but you were sure to learn something."