Robert “Bob” A. Essig, 70, Princeton
April 4, 1951 - December 1, 2021
Robert “Bob” A. Essig, age 70 of Princeton, MN, passed away of heart failure on December 1, 2021, at his home.
Bob was born to Joseph and Thora (Nelson) Essig on April 4, 1951, in Minneapolis, the youngest of four siblings. At an early age, Bob was motivated. He started working a paper route. To expand his financial success, he dropped out of school and worked full-time pumping gas. This disappointed his mother, who had been a school teacher for 30 years and said that he would never be anything more than a ditch digger. Those words stuck with him and motivated him all his life.
Bob’s parents were from the Princeton/Milaca area, where they would visit on weekends and that is how he met Barbara “Barb” (Nelson) of Princeton. Barb’s parents would not allow her to marry a high school dropout, so Bob went back and graduated a year later in 1970 from St. Louis Park High School.
Bob and Barb married on June 13, 1970. They stayed in Princeton where they built a life together. During their first year of marriage, he began working for Princeton Creamery and driving truck for private milk haulers. In 1971, he found his niche working for Bauerly Brothers, being one of their best employees. In 1976, he purchased some of his own equipment, and he and Barb worked weekends. This became the genesis of Essig Construction Company. In 1982, he expanded and bought Thayer Excavating Company. Bob used determination and intelligence to achieve success running multiple companies. He rarely had any days off as he plowed snow for many townships, Princeton Public Schools, and private citizens during the winter months. Essig Construction is responsible for building the Princeton Airport, the Golf Course, multiple subdivisions, as well as many homes in the area, including his own. Bob took on additional partners. He was a land developer and a part owner of AmericInn. Near the end, they took over Central Fleet Service adding this to his business endeavors.
As hard as he worked, Bob also knew how to enjoy life. He was an avid sports fan, with a special interest in the Vikings. He enjoyed his Corvette ZR1, which he brought to car shows and often won awards. He shot trap for many years at the Zimmerman Gun Club, again earning many trophies. He liked traveling and spending time at his lake home. He also enjoyed reading, watching war films, learning anything about WWII, talking politics with those who thought the “right” way, and was very proud of his German heritage. Bob loved spending time with his dog, Riley, who was near his side every day for the last 14 years. Through it all, he enjoyed a good drink and could be known to have more than one.
Bob is survived by his wife, Barb; children, Bobbi Schramel, Joselynn (Brian) Robinson, Nicholas (Tara), Nathan (Caroline), Robert II (Ashley), and Celeste (Matthew) O’Connor; siblings, Judith, Kaye, and Joel “Butch”; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Thora (Nelson) Essig; his son-in-law, Barry Schramel; and brothers-in-law, Salvador Gangi and David Bergstrom.
Visitation will be on Friday, December 10, 2021, from 4:00-8:00 PM at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home, Princeton, with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.
Funeral Services will be on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 11:00 AM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 18977 17th St., Princeton, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Our Savior’s Lutheran Cemetery with lunch to follow.