Robert Morris Esplin
March 18, 1937 ~ November 4, 2019
Robert Morris Esplin was born on March 18, 1937. He was the younger of twin boys born to Wilma and Henry Esplin in Cedar City, Utah. His early childhood was spent in a sheep herders camp wagon between Nevada and Oregon before settling on a ranch in Nyssa, Oregon. Bob worked the ranch with his twin and two younger brothers. Bob was baptized into The Church Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 9 because of the wonderful teachings of Primary teachers. In 1955, prior to entering college, he contracted polio while working in the Oregon potato fields. This disease landed him in a hospital in Salt Lake City where he was in an iron lung for two weeks struggling to survive. Polio drastically changed his life and his body. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Great Lakes Michigan Area. Upon returning from his mission, he met the love of his life, Laurie Jean Roberts, at a church sacrament meeting where she was giving a talk. She took his breath away and stole his heart – which never changed. One short year later, Bob and Laurie were married for time and all eternity on June 30, 1960 in the Idaho Falls Temple. They lived in Provo, Utah where Bob attended Brigham Young University and worked for a brick mason. Bob graduated from BYU with a degree in Animal Sciences, and double minors in Chemistry and Zoology. Upon graduating, they moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where Bob worked for Morton Salt Company for 3 years. Bob, along with a partner, bought the Jaros Coal and Grain and the Mesa Flour Mill, converting them into a new feed mill, the Mesa Feed Mill. April 1974 will forever be etched in their minds as a fire burned the Mesa Feed Mill to the ground. Bob sold his share and moved to Delta in August 1974. He purchased the Delta Elevator and the Montrose Elevator. He sold the Montrose Elevator several years later, and focused on specializing in performance horse and show livestock feed. The Delta Elevator was a family-run business for over 45 years. He was honored to do business in this community.
Bob was an avid sportsman. He loved to hunt, fish, ride horses, work with livestock and, most of all, spend time with his family. His entire life he has been active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has served as Bishop for 3 years, Stake President for 8 ½ years, and Stake Patriarch for 28 years. Bob and his sweet wife Laurie did volunteer work in the Denver Temple for 15 years. Prior to his departure from this world, Bob was a counselor in the Sunday School Presidency. They are the incredibly proud parents of 12 (yes twelve!) children, 10 of whom are still living. They have 39 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren and that number continues to grow.
Bob was preceded in death by: his parents, Wilma and Henry Esplin; two sons, Michael Alan and Matthew Lee; three grandchildren, Michael Ray, Jr. and Katie Hiler (twins) and Stephanie Lynn Stumpf.
Bob is survived by: his wife, Laurie Jean Roberts Esplin; ten children: Daniel (Gloria) Esplin, Connie (Torrey) Lowder, Mary (Mike) Hiler, Suzanne (Bradley) Miller; Mark (Laura) Esplin, Nanette (Steve) Stumpf, Becci Esplin, Teresa Esplin Robinson, Laurie Esplin, and Robert Morris Jr. (Franny) Esplin; his twin: Richard (Darlene) Esplin, and two brothers: Boyd (Sheila) Esplin, and Fred Esplin; 39 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren (and still counting).
A viewing will be held at 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM on Friday, November 8, 2019 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Delta (1679 Pioneer Road). The funeral will begin at 1 PM followed by internment at Delta Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory. View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
The entire Esplin family would like to thank the amazing staff at Delta County Memorial Hospital whom provided stellar care to our precious husband/Dad. We would also like to thank everyone for the overwhelming outpouring of love and affection during this difficult time.