Harlan R. Essink
Harlan Essink went to be with his Lord on June 5, 2022 in Lincoln at the age of 83. Harlan was born on January 12, 1939 to John and Gertrude (Languis) Essink.
He lived with his parents near Hickman until he married Rowanna Hesser on March 10, 1961. Harlan attended a one room school near his home through 8th grade. He then attended Hickman High School and graduated in 1957. After graduation he worked in Lincoln as a parts runner for O’Shea Rogers and later worked in the parts room. Then he became a parts manager for Vanice, Dean Brothers and Bob Mercer in Hickman. He then began his career at Norris School as the Transportation Supervisor. He held this position for 20 years before retiring. After retirement he substituted as a bus driver and helped his nephew Steve with farming and neighbor Elmer Hietbrink. Harlan was a member of the Pella Reformed church.
Harlan always had a love for horses and got his first horse just after he was married because his wife had a horse and he needed one also. They began raising colts and training them. After the children were born and old enough to ride, he had horses trained for them and became very involved with horse shows, Pella Saddle Club, Triple Creek Riders in Hickman and 3G’s 4-H Club which he and Rowanna were leaders for several years. This was their hobby until the kids were gone from home – then he, son Larry, and Verl Mulder bought a team of Belgians and began raising Belgian colts. They especially enjoyed going on the 3-day trail rides and camp outs near Fairbury and Kansas.
They began to give hay rack rides sometimes 3 or 4 in a weekend for various groups. Harlan became interested in the antique farm machinery and took the team to various shows to demonstrate how the farmers used to farm with the machinery. Harlan was very knowledgeable about how the machinery worked and restored numerous pieces of farm equipment and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with anyone and everyone. Harlan and Rowanna were members of the Blue Valley Antique Club in Beatrice and especially enjoyed sharing their knowledge with around 600 4th graders at the Filley Stone Barn each fall. Harlan & Verl also demonstrated numerous farm implements and a well drilling machine at Homestead National Park in Beatrice, Sod Busters in Sterling,andCamp Creek in Waverly. Harlan also participated in the Nebraska corn husking contest, served as a Chauffeur for weddings and funerals. He and Verl were featured as horse drawn limousine drivers for a funeral commercial. They also hosted the annual Hesser Picnic in Verl & Marlene’s park which was enjoyed by all.
Harlan and Rowanna also loved going to watch their grandkids show horses at local shows, 4-H events, sports, and county and state fairs, rodeos and even events out of state.
Harlan is survived by his wife of 61 years Rowanna (Hesser) Essink, Sons Dennis (Gina) Essink of Syracuse, Larry (Lois) Essink of Bennet, and daughter Brenda (Chris) Greenfield of Walton. Grand sons and fiancees Brandon Essink (Riley Spire), John Essink. (Rachel Fox) Austin Jensen (Tessa Nelson), Cody Jensen, Ethan Essink, Granddaughter Amanda (Pat) Lahm. Great Grandsons, Dalton Essink and Pete Lahm. Step Grand Daughter Rayla Fox. Brother Norman (Mary) Essink of Lincoln. Sister and Brother in laws Karen and Ron Essink of Firth and Beth and Bruce Weber of Lincoln. Numerous Nieces and Nephews and Cousins and Aunt Evelyn Essink of Hickman.
Harlan is preceded in death by his Parents John and Gertrude Essink and stepmother Jennie Essink and Sister & Brother-in-law Virginia & Bob DeBoer, Great Nephew Mathew DeBoer, Sister & Brother- in- Law Marlene & Verl Mulder Grandparents Henry and Ann Languis, Dick & Rena Essink. Parents in law Harold and Johanna Hesser.
Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 AM Friday, June 10, 2022 at the Pella Reformed Church, R. Adams. The service will also be Livestreamed on the church YouTube Page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJeYc3VxoF8svloJx2hnmbg, or from the church website http://www.pellachurch.org/. Burial of his ashes will be held at 10:00 AM Friday at the Pella Cemetery. Public visitation with the family greeting friends from 6:00 PM-7:30 PM Thursday at the church. A family prayer service will be held at 10:45 AM Friday at the church. A memorial has been established to the Pella Reformed Church and the Blue Valley Antique Club (used for Filley Stone Barn programs) with the funeral home in charge. Sign Harlan’s online guest book and view his video tribute when completed at www.ghchapel.com.
These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Adams.
Harlan had some favorite sayings which were pretty well known by everyone who knew him. Such as:
“Take your time going but hurry back”
“A buck 2-98”
“It is good enough for who it is for”
“If it is worth doing – It is worth doing right the 1st time”
“Glad you got to see me”
And “Yes Dear”