Meriden - Leslie John Eslinger, 91, of Meriden, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 1, 2012, into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, surrounded by friends at Miller Memorial Community Hospice in Meriden. Born in Gyor, Hungary on December 23, 1920, and raised in New York City, Les was happily married to Margaret Czeising Eslinger for 51 years until her passing in 1994, raising two boys in both Massapequa, LI, New York and subsequently in Wallingford, CT. Les is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Robert S. Eslinger and Barbara R. Eslinger, of Pomfret Center, CT; daughter-in-law, Anne Kemp Eslinger of Enfield, CT; grandchildren, Keith R. Eslinger of Woodstock, CT, Neal C. Eslinger of Putnam, CT, Katie Eslinger of Avon, CT, and Lynsey Eslinger of Enfield, CT, several nieces and nephews, and his dearest friend, Sheila Spellacy of Meriden, CT. His beloved wife, Margaret, and son, Peter, predeceased him, as did his two brothers, Steve and Frank Eslinger. An Army veteran of WW II, with the rank of Technical Sergeant, he was stationed in Hawaii until January 1946. Les worked as a legal secretary and stenographer for the US Government, US Court of Appeals until his retirement. Since then, he enjoyed traveling to his native Hungary and Italy where he met Pope John Paul, II. He was active for many years doing volunteer work for the Franciscan Sisters of Meriden and in the Emergency Room at MidState Hospital. Les was an avid reader who surrounded himself with thousands of books, his interests were many and diverse and included the sciences, especially astronomy, early aircraft, maritime and railroad history, science fiction, the history and politics of the Vatican, the wild west and especially books written by author, Louis Lamoure. Les loved classical and opera music, photography, painting with oils, building model wooden ships and planes, and making wooden toys and doll houses for the little people in his life. He had a warm, friendly, intelligent spirit, and his gentle, caring soul will continue to shine and inspire those who knew him. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph Church, 22 Goodwill Ave., Meriden on Friday, September 7 at 11 a.m. Interment in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Arrangements are in care of Beecher & Bennett-Flatow Funeral Home, 48 Cook Ave., Meriden. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Ave., Meriden, CT 06451-3607.

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  1. Grandpa, words cannot express how truly incredible you are. You showed me, and everyone else you encountered, so much compassion and love; you simply never ceased to amaze me. I will always have you in my heart, my thoughts, and my spirit encouraging me to be a wiser, more discerning person to all those I meet. I will forever love you, and always think of you; after all, you are a part of me 🙂 I love you L.J.E. from your granddaughter L.J.E.

  2. I am so very fortunate to have had such a prince of a man for a father. You are one of the most intelligent, caring,compassionate, and well read people I have ever known and the best Dad in the world. Your spirit of adventure knew no bounds. I will forever remember our three + weeks camping out under the stars, our Colorado River whitewater rafting trips thru the Grand Canyon traversing nearly 600 miles of the roughest white water in North America, our hot air balloon trips over the Red Rock areas of Arizona, our exploration of ancient caves, treks thru the mountains and deserts of the southwest, and our numerous visits to Kitt Peak Observatory. But most of all, I will miss all the love you radiated your whole life long, your big smile, your sense of humor and your companionship. You will be missed, so so much. Until we meet again.

  3. All I can say is that Les was a good guy, and I will miss him. I will miss him at family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, where we got up-to- date on politics, scientic events, and books to read . I will miss Les at our 4th of July and end-of- summer celebartions. I will miss his thoughtful thank you cards and holiday cards, but I will always remember that Jan and I always knew that we were in his thoughts and he in ours.

  4. Dear Dad, how ever so grateful I am to have the Eslinger family in my life. My husband Peter who taught me how to love uncondisionally, my mother inlaw, who taught me the finer arts of cooking, and my father-in-law who showed me what it meant to be a gentle, loving person who could forgive and never judge. My greatest reward are my two girls, Les’s grandchildren. How lucky we are. lots of love…Anne

  5. For several years, Les came to our summer birthday party with Sheila Spellacy. We had the celebration on Bolton Lake at our house. Even though we saw Les usually once a year, he entered the celebration with grace, friendliness and graciousness. Those who knew him, even from these brief exposures, remember him as a very special and warm person.

  6. Grandpa, words cannot express how much I love you & how much you will be missed. I have learned so much from you over the years. I have learned patience, I have learned how to listen better, I have learned to appreciate art & science. You were always there to listen and to encourage my artistic endeavors and creativity. I feel so lucky to have been able to spend so much time with you growing up…you and Grandma taking me and my brother to museums, cities, craft shows, libraries, long walks, etc. You always had time to .Smell the Roses. investigating a rock, bug, airplane, radio or whatever. I will miss you having me pull your finger at holiday celebrations & will miss showing you how strong I am by hugging you as HARD as possible. You always encouraged that!! I love you Grandpa. Love your youngest grandson, Neal

  7. Dear Les, I will never forget how my relationship began with you and Margie way back,when I was in my teens; you and Margie arguing fiercely that long hair on guys and ripped jeans on anyone was anything but .cool.! As years passed and I matured, I came to love you. You were always curious about the latest hair-brained trends my teen students were following. And we both laughed! Les, you became a man of great wisdom, patience, and tolerance. Then Sheila came into yor life, such a blessing! How much fun we had at 4th of July picnics and dozens of holidays. I loved rowing the two of you around the pond, surrounded by our families and so many four-legged friends. Your devotion to the Church, Margie, Sheila, the Franciscan sisters, your family was neverending. You are a true but rare gentleman, and I love you. Goodbye for now…

  8. How I will miss your happy, fun spirit at holiday gatherings. I will miss your hearty laugh and your very hearty appetite, together with our sometimes intense discussions and, of course, your home-made bread! We still have the rocking horse you crafted so beautifully for Bob when he was a toddler, and when he got too big for it, Peter took over. When Keith was a toddler, we found him rocking like a mad cowboy on that horse at 2 a.m., not sure where he was going. Then Neal had his turn, followed by Tara, then Katie, then Elizabeth, and then Lynsey. Now that horse is all shiny and resting on our balcony, ready to take the next little cowboy or cowgirl on an adventure and reminding us every day of you and all those happy memories. There is just too much to say. You will be missed by so many. Your kind, gentle, generous spirit shall never be forgotten. May God speed and may Heaven be even more magnificent than you could have ever imagined. Love, Barbara

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