Johnny Esau

Johnny Esau, 1950-2018

Johnny Esau brought charm and brightness to his work as a Turn Off Texting presenter and made hundreds of Vermont’s young drivers safer with his kind instruction. We are sad to report that he lost his battle with leukemia and passed on January 9.

Here is Johnny’s obituary, from the Brattleboro Reformer:

John D. Esau of Marlboro, VT and Lake Rescue, Ludlow, VT passed away on January 9, 2018 after a graceful, courageous battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Johnny was born on September 4, 1950 in New York, NY. He was raised in Port Washington, NY by his loving parents, John W. Esau and Norma Bonelli Esau. In the Fall of 1975 he married his best friend, Joanne Sehnal Esau and in February of 1983 his daughter Corey was born, fulfilling his life beyond measure.

Johnny graduated from Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, NY and Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, VT where he was a member of the SMC Choir. Soon after he attended Keene State College to earn an Education Degree.

He entered the teaching profession at Wyndham Elementary School as a Teaching Principal. For much of his career he had the privilege and joy of teaching at the Marlboro Elementary School. He also taught at Reading Elementary and served as the Turn off Texting presenter for the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Council. While at Marlboro Elementary he coordinated the building of the Johnny Esau Covered Bridge and co directed the annual school musicals. His classroom was know as a place filled with music, laughter, hammering and creative chaos.

He sang with the Blanche Moyse Chorale. Later his joyful voice joined the Brattleboro Music Center Chorus where he assumed the role of “chief mischief maker”. He was a member of the Marlboro Fire Department and sat on the board of directors of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society. Johnny enjoyed laughing, being with friends, building, boating, beaches, metal detecting, his truck’s GARLIC license plate and Italian food. He spent hours working on his wooden boat “Knock On Wood”. He adored his Golden Retrievers but in the end it was his little dog Tucker who was his constant companion.

He was predeceased by his parents Norma and Jack Esau. Johnny is survived by: his wife of 42 years, Joanne Sehnal Esau; his daughter and son-in-law Corey and Julian Jaworski of Quechee, VT; his brother and sister-in-law Raymond and Kathy Sehnal of Pomfret, VT; sisters Cynthia (Anthony) Jerolino of Cavendish, VT and Lisabeth (Edward) Fisher of Malvern, PA as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and a grand niece and nephew.

Johnny was exceptionally proud of his Italian heritage. He adored his grandparents, “Papa and Nannie” and held his Bonelli cousins close to his heart. He was also predeceased by his birth mother, Mary Massucci, who’s identity he discovered in the last year of his life. He was lovingly embraced by his newly found Masucci cousins and his niece, Denise Renda and her husband Denis of Northport, NY and Grafton VT.

In his struggle with Leukemia Johnny showed his family the depth of his love and taught us the way to live a life of gratitude. His family and friends returned his love, giving generously of their time and resources for which he was forever thankful. We are in awe of the spirit of the nursing and medical staff who cared for Johnny at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Grace Cottage Rehabilitation and most especially, Dr. Andrew Brunner and his Team at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In honor of Johnny we ask that you please give the gift of your time or your resources to a family that is caring for a loved one with Cancer.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 11:00 AM, at St. Anthony’s Parish in White River Junction. A gathering of friends and family will take place immediately following at The Quechee Club, Quechee, VT.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Jan. 12, 2018