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Robert J. Eshleman, Jr., age 94, of Bloomsburg (Lime Ridge) passed away at his home at 10:25 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, 2019 after an illness, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Berwick on November 6, 1924, he was the son of Robert J., Sr. and Genevieve (Evans) Eshleman.
An outstanding student, Bob graduated as salutatorian from Berwick High School in 1942. Shortly after that, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a technician in the 93rd Chemical Mortar Battalion conducting radio operations in Europe.
Following his service to his country, Bob enrolled in Penn State University, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in horticulture. While studying at Penn State, Bob also met his future wife, the former Marjorie Land, who was also a horticulture major. In 1950, Bob and Marge married and took over operation of Eshleman’s Nursery & Garden Center, which was established by his father in 1930. He retired in 2013. His wife preceded him in death on August 4, 2014, after a marriage of 64 years.
Bob spent his life as a nurseryman and landscaper, growing many of his own plants, from cuttings and greenhouses he built by hand. He often gave lectures on various plant topics to area schools and gardening clubs. Bob was a life-long member of the Pennsylvania Nuserymen’s Association and served as president from 1970-71. He had been an active member of both the Mifflinville and Berwick Lions Clubs, serving in various positions and as president of both groups several times. He was a member of Knapp Lodge #462 F&AM of Berwick and Caldwell Consistory of Bloomsburg for over 70 years. He also represented Central Columbia High School on the building committee for the Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School, where he served as the advisor to the horticulture committee, and also was a member of the Agricultural Extension Committee in Columbia County.
He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Bloomsburg.
An avid reader all of his life, Bob could always be found with a book in his hand, whether in a chair under the maple tree, or in the greenhouse, in his recliner with Golf on in the background, or on a beach in New Jersey. His quick wit and dry humor will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by an infant son, James, a daughter Margaret, on October 6, 1976, and a brother, John Eshleman.
He is survived by two daughters: Amy J. Eshleman, Ph.D, and her companion, Gerry, Portland, OR, and Virginia L., wife of Gary L. Ent, Lime Ridge, son Robert B. Eshleman, and his wife Mabel, Berwick; seven grandchildren: Sky Pajak, Rebecca J. Ent, Heather C. Shores, Kathryn M. Horn, Elizabeth A. Campbell, Chardei L. Eshleman, and Colton J. Eshleman; seven great-grandchildren: Anna Campbell, Ayla Shores, Benjamin Pajak, Lillian Pajak, Leo Shores, Emily Campbell, Juliet Horn. Additional surviving relatives include a sister; Annabelle Fetterman, of Wilburton No. 2; sister-in-law, Mary Ellen Land, of Bedford; a brother-in-law, James N. Land, Jr., of Morristown, N.J.; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc. Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 325 Market St. Bloomsburg, PA, with his pastor Rev. Dr. Elizabeth McCormick. Interment will follow in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge, with Military Honors by the combined Veterans group. Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday evening from 6-8 p.m. with Masonic memorial services at 7:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Geisinger Home Health and Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Suite 200, Bloomsburg, or the Bloomsburg Public Library, 225 Market St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815. The family would like to extend their special thanks to Virginia Hock for her dedication and care for both Mom and Dad, as well as Geisinger Home Health and Hospice and other caregivers.
Bloomsburg Public Library
225 Market St, Bloomsburg PA 17815
Geisinger Columbia Montour Home Hospice
410 Glenn Ave, Bloomsburg PA 17815