Richard C. Esterlund
Richard C. Esterlund, age 77, passed away peacefully from Parkinson's Disease with his family by his side on April 26,2020. Raised in Pitman, NJ he was a PHS graduate class of 1961. He completed his college degree in the US Navy in which he served for 26 years. Richard served in Vietnam, was an officer in the SEALS, and was part of the recovery teams for both Gemini and Skylab space capsules. He worked on both the East and West coasts as well as in Washington, DC, and overseas. Richard's nickname in the military was 'Rock' as he was known for both physical strength and strength of character. After retiring from the Navy he officiated sporting events in Hampton Roads, VA.
Richard was known for his trademark laugh, his sense of humor, and his humble and giving demeanor. Each Christmas for 30 years he dressed as St. Nicholas and visited hospitals, schools, and churches. He shared his cherished train collection with local kids. Above all else he was known for his deep love of his family.
Richard had fond memories of growing up in Pitman. He loved the crème doughnuts from the Pitman Bakery and even once drove his grandsons from Virginia to Pitman just to get them. It was in Pitman where he met his beloved wife of 55 years, Mary Martha Testa.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Mary Martha, daughters Theresa & Marie, grandsons Ryan & Austin, brother Bob, nieces Denise & Lori, great nieces Jenna & Katie, and grand nieces Aubrey & Sadie. He was predeceased by his brother Bill.
He will be missed beyond measure.
Due to Covid 19 services will be private. The family asks that anyone who would like to honor Richard should do so with an act of kindness and compassion.