Arthur Edward “Rocky” Essenpreis, Jr., age 75, of Breese, passed away Monday, March 13, 2023 at Aviston Countryside Manor.
He was born June 11, 1947 in Manitowoc, WI, a son of the late Marcella, nee Neuser, and Arthur E. Essenpreis, Sr.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Robert (Carol) Essenpreis, Joey Coleman, and Ronald Essenpreis; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gail and Maxine, nee Purdie, Purves.
Rocky is survived by his wife, Paula, nee Purves, Essenpreis, of Breese, whom he married July 13, 1974 in Carlyle; children, Mike (Shannon) Essenpreis of Amherstburg, Ontario and Caitlyn (Dan) Knoebel of Mascoutah; grandchildren, Afften and Lauren Essenpreis and Brayden and Lana Knoebel; siblings, Sharon Segovia of Chicago, Gary Essenpreis of Albuquerque, NM, and Jerry (Ruth) Essenpreis of Poulsbo, WA; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Donald Coleman of Tucson, AZ and Rita Essenpreis of Chicago; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rocky enlisted in the United States Army in 1966 to attend the United States Army Helicopter Flight School. He completed training in 1967 and was assigned as a helicopter pilot to 1 st Air Cavalry Division, where he served with distinction. Upon leaving active duty, he joined the United States Army Reserves, and served there for over twenty-five years, retiring from the military in 1996. He was a Master Army Aviator and served as a pilot, instructor pilot, and maintenance test pilot for the 102 nd ARCOM flight facility at Scott Airforce Base.
Rocky continued his government service with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as an Aeronautical Intelligence Analyst and retired in 2008. He was a member of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Breese and Breese American Legion Post 252. He was an avid golfer and loved pitching horseshoes in the Clinton County League.
Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Breese with Fr. Patrick Peter presiding. Interment will follow at St. Dominic-St. Augustine Cemetery in Breese with full military honors accorded.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and again Wednesday, March 22, 2023 from 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. at Moss Funeral Home in Breese.
In lieu of flowers, plants, and other gifts, memorials may be made to the American Service Animal Society at www.dogs4vets.org or will be received at the visitation or by mail, Moss Funeral Home, 535 N. 5 th St. Breese, IL 62230, who is serving the family.
Expressions of sympathy can be sent to the family at www.mossfuneralhome.com.