Barry L. Essenpreis, 73, of Pocahontas died on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 at his home.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 and from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, with the Rev. Tim A. Darmour-Paul, pastor of Grantfork United Church of Christ, officiating. Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery.
He was born on Sept. 9, 1942 in Highland to Leto H. “Pete” and Thelma R. (Mack) Essenpreis. On Jan. 15, 1965, he married Shirley A. Balla. She survives in Pocahontas.
Mr. Essenpreis grew up on the family farm northeast of Grantfork and graduated from Highland High School in 1960. He attended Rankin Trade School and O’Fallon Tech School in St. Louis.
Never miss a local story.
He worked as a tool and die maker for Universal Match, ITT Blackburn and then McDonnell Douglas, until 1992. He started driving over-the-road semis for Highland Ready Mix, Riechmann Trucking, 5-Star, and A&R Transport. He retired from driving in the early 2000s.
In addition to working, he and his wife operated a grain and livestock farm. He raised fainting goats, alpaca, miniature horses and miniature donkeys as part of his menagerie. Working was his hobby.
Mr. Essenpreis was always a “jokester.” He never met a stranger. He enjoyed playing pinochle, listening to music and dancing. He also collected antique farm machinery.
He was a member of Grantfork United Church of Christ, the Bond County Antique Machine Club, and Gordon Lodge 473 A.F. & A.M. in Pocahontas, where he had served as Master several times. He was also a former member of the International Association of Machinists Local 688.
Other survivors include sons, Michael R. (Mary) Essenpreis of Sorento and Thomas R. (Rebecca) Essenpreis of Hawthorne, Calif.; a daughter, Deborah L. “Debbie” (Brady) Kesner of Highland; grandchildren, James M. Essenpreis of Sorento, Shannon M. (Drew) Smith of Pearl City, Hawaii, Sydney A. Kesner of Highland, Taylor R. Kesner of Highland and Sagan S. Essenpreis of Hawthorne, Calif.; and a sister, Betty A. (William) Hemann (twin to Barry) of Edmond, Okla.
He was preceded in death by his father, who died on June 16, 1997; and his mother, who died on April 19, 2012.
Memorials may be made to Grantfork United Church of Christ or Shriners Hospital for Children.