Roy Erling Esiason, 81, avid conservationist, environmentalist, and humanitarian, passed away Friday, May 22, 2009, at his home in North Greenbush, NY. Born August 20, 1927 in Queens, NY to the late Ingrid (Gulbrandson) and Fritz Henning Esiason, Roy spent his youth in Philadelphia, PA and was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army in the Philippines.
He earned an undergraduate degree at Salisbury State Teacher’s College in Maryland, and a Masters Degree from Hofstra University in Long Island. He did post-graduate work at Columbia University and Indiana University. His career began by teaching English and Social Studies in Baltimore County, MD. He then went on to teach at East Northport Junior High School and Northport High School in Long Island. He was a Fulbright Scholar and exchange teacher for one year in Bergen, Norway.
Roy and his family moved from Long Island to a hilltop in Granville, NY in 1970, where they lived for 38 years. He and his wife were longtime breeders and owners of Newfoundland dogs and are honorary members of the Northland Newfoundland Club and the Newfoundland Club of America.
Roy was a member of the Forest Owners’ Association, served two terms as Town Supervisor in Granville, NY, and ran for U.S. Congress.
He is survived by Louise (White) Esiason, his loving wife of 55 years. He is also survived by his three children; Karen Cosey, of Argyle, NY; Kirsten Jensen and her husband Leif, of State College; PA, and Eric Esiason and his wife Linda, of Wales, MA. Additionally, he is survived by seven grandchildren, David (Adrienne) Cosey II, Reidar (Abby) Jensen, Britta Jensen, Nicholas Cosey, Mia Jensen, Jordan Esiason, Justin Esiason, and two of his beloved Newfoundland dogs, Sailor and Manda. He was predeceased by his sister Verne Huttenberg and brother Norman Esiason.
Roy made an anatomical gift to Albany Medical College, and at his request no funeral services will be held. The family will gather at a later date for a celebration of his life. Memorial donations to the American Cancer Society at cancer.org or P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK, 73123-1718 would be gratefully appreciated.
To quote Roy’s cousin upon hearing of his passing: “…as we say in Norwegian, var et spesielt fint menneske, meaning: He was a specially fine human being. Wherever he is now, I think he is telling us all to be happy, to remember him with a little smile and to keep enjoying life.”