American Veteran 02

Gerald Essman

May 28, 1947 ~ March 6, 2021 (age 73)


Joseph Gerald Essman went to his heavenly home on March 6, 2021. He was born on May 28, 1947 to Joseph Dee and Bessie Elizabeth (Lewis) Essman in Waldron, Arkansas. He was 73 years old.

Gerald was Owner/operator of Essman Trucking, Essman Towing and Recovery and an army veteran of the Vietnam war where he served in the 101st airborne division. He loved drag racing, hunting and fishing, breakfast at the local cafes, sharing stories with his friends, and keeping his family laughing with his antics. His smile and sense of humor was contagious and his wink always let you know that he was up to something. 

Gerald leaves behind to cherish his memory, his loving wife of 43 years, Joni of the home, daughters: Ladonna Evans and husband Dave of Dardanelle, Arkansas, Michelle Edwards and husband Rick of Chester, Arkansas and Amy Russell of Greenwood, Arkansas. Grandpa/PaPaw will forever remain in the hearts of his grandchildren: Ryan Scantling and wife Allie, Dalton Russell, Joseph Russell, Kaitlen Miller, Paige Provost and husband Ethan, Allie Cathey and Jessie Whitten as well as 6 great grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters, Vera Artzer of Topeka, Kansas, and Marilyn Johnson of Blue Eye, Missouri and one brother, Dale Essman of Van Buren, Arkansas as well as his furry friends, his dogs, DJ, Julie and runt. Gerald will be missed by all that knew him and the many whose lives he impacted including a host of extended family, great friends and neighbors.

He was preceded in death by his parents(Joseph and Bessie), his mother in law Estalee Simpson, his brothers Allan Essman, Jim Essman; and sisters Paula Piles and Janice Weston; daughter Anette Essman, grandson Sean Wesley Miller, and granddaughter Meagan Scantling. 

Gerald's graveside life celebration will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at the Fort Smith National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Ryan Scantling officiating. Interment will follow.

Gerald's visitation will be Monday, March 8, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in Waldron, Arkansas.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Essman, please visit our floral store.


Public Visitation
March 8, 2021

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
1879 West 6th Street, Post Office Box 358
Waldron, AR 72958

Celebration of Life
March 9, 2021

1:00 PM
Fort Smith National Cemetery
522 S 6th St
Fort Smith, AR 72901

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