The Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department announced that,  “An incredible charter member and founder Robert “Bob” Esserman, 94, passed away peacefully in his Florida home where he spent the last few years of his life.”

Esserman was one of 11 founding members of Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department and was instrumental in the fire service in Liberty Township and across the State, the department said.

Esserman served the highest rank of Assistant Fire Chief for some years, Inspector, Investigator, as well as an instructor.

“Esserman was passionate about teaching LP gas and taught at fire schools across the State and locally in Northwest Indiana,” the department stated.

Esserman served many other roles in the fire service community; not only was he a founding member of the Porter County Fire Association, but he was also a member of the Indiana Volunteer Fire Association (IVFA) and District One Chairman, Secretary, and spent several years as Public Relations Director. He was awarded Mr. IVFA in 1976.

The department says when Esserman came to visit the fire station, you could often catch him telling stories and the history of the fire department to the younger guys or anyone that was willing to listen.

“He carried so much knowledge with him about the department he just wanted to share with others what he knew,” the department stated. “It was always a joy to have Esserman in the station to live in the moment like he did back when he was firefighting.”

Esserman served on Liberty from the start of its inception in 1955 to 1999 and provided over 44 years of service to a young department. He even helped form the creation of Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department. Through his leadership Liberty loaned an Engine on lease for several years until they could muster the funds to purchase their own.

“Bob Esserman will be greatly missed by family, friends and his fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service,” the department stated.

A fire service funeral will be held Monday, Dec. 19 at 11:00 a.m. at the White Love Funeral Home located at 525 South 2nd Street in Chesterton.