• Date Of Birth: August 30, 1937
  • Date Of Death: May 25, 2019
  • Resting Place: Anchorage
  • City: Palmer
  • State: Alaska

Jon Howard Esslinger passed away at home on May 25, 2019, in the loving presence of his wife and children. He was 81. Born in Ohio, Howard moved to Palmer, Alaska, when he was 8 years old, driving up the Alcan Highway with his family. He enjoyed growing vegetables and hunting with his father, and was on one of the first football teams at Palmer High School, graduating in 1955. Howard had the honor of being the first Alaskan from a civilian family to be appointed to the United States Naval Academy. He obtained a degree in engineering in 1960, and went on to serve as an officer on multiple ships in the Pacific.

Upon his release in 1964, he worked one summer building the Parks Highway to Fairbanks and then decided he needed a job that would allow him to enjoy the summers, so he got his Masters of Business Administration in accounting at the University of Washington. Howard met his future wife at a chance encounter in San Francisco, Calif., convinced her to move to Seattle, Wash., while he was going to grad school, and then insisted she make it through one winter in Alaska before they were married. Howard and Louise were married in 1967 at Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. Howard worked for several big accounting firms in Anchorage before starting his own firm, Hendrix and Esslinger, with his partner and best friend, Randy Hendrix. Howard was an exceptional CPA and was known for being honest, straightforward and hardworking. He was active in the Naval Reserves for 23 years, and attained the rank of Captain.

Howard passed on his great love of the outdoors to his children, taking them camping, hunting and to the small cabin he built with his father on Lake Susitna. He read and traveled the world extensively with Louise and enjoyed learning about different cultures, places and history. It was important to him to grow vegetables, pick berries and harvest wild game for his family. He had a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. Howard is survived by his wife, Louise; sons, George (Jen Coffey), Paul (Donna) and Marc (Briana); and daughter, Saskia (Matt Oster); sister, Gretchen Esslinger; and grandchildren, Dawson, Parker, Graysen, Skye, Rylan, Jack and Leo.