Cover photo for Rev. Buddy D. Esters's Obituary
Rev. Buddy D. Esters Profile Photo
1939 Buddy 2023

Rev. Buddy D. Esters

June 7, 1939 — September 23, 2023


Honoring the life of Buddy Dwight Esters

June 7, 1939 - September 23, 2023

Buddy was born in Decaturville, Tennessee to Nora Jewel Tole and Marcus Esters.  He was the first grandchild of Burmah and Earnest Tole and was affectionately given the nickname “Sam” by his grandfather. It was during his days with his grandmother that Buddy learned to cook and bake, which carried on into his adulthood. In those early years he attended Freeman Chapel Methodist Church and was baptized nearby in Jack Creek.  Buddy also had an early love for music and played the piano. During high school at Decatur County Training School, he joined a band and played in café’s/ juke joints and for the local radio station.

After graduating high school in 1957, Buddy ventured to Chicago and operated his own shoeshine stand inside his aunt’s store at the L Train Station.  With his heart still belonging to Tennessee, after one year, Buddy saved to buy his first car and moved back home.  This became a way of life as when his car broke down, he’d move back to Chicago and work long enough to buy a new car and move back to Tennessee.  It must have been in these years that he developed his love for cars and for always having a new car.

In the early 60’s Buddy joined other relatives who moved to Akron, Ohio and made it his forever home.  Following his favorite cousin Elwin, he bought his first Harley Davidson in 1972 and joined the Zulu Motorcycle Club where he was the resident DJ, known as Bone Shaker. Buddy gained employment at Chrysler Automotive and served as the Chief Union Stewart, Non-Production, Local 122 UAW and retired in 1994.

In 1985 Buddy married Jimmie Jones, and together they joined New Hope Baptist Church in 1993. Active in the church, Buddy became a Deacon and the Sunday School Superintendent.  He founded the New Hope Soup Kitchen that served to provide weekly meals and Thanksgiving baskets to those in need in the Akron Community.  In 1995 he was called to the Ministry and received his certificate of Ordination in the year 2000.

On any given day, you knew Buddy was ready for visitors with the garage door open, and he was there sitting and listening to the blues.  When the music got good to him, he’d be ready to dance.  You can ask any of those who knew him well to demonstrate his signature moves.  Buddy took pride in landscaping and was continuously awarded The Treeside Beautification Watch Award, as recently as this year, 2023.  He was meticulous in ensuring the yard was edged, lines were straight, and flowers remained in bloom.   To his neighbors he was known as Pops or Dad as he called everyone “son” or “daughter”.  Buddy never met a stranger and treated everyone like family. 

He was proceeded in death by his Mother Nora Tole, Father Marcus Esters, Sister Nelly Scott, Grandson Cameron Harmon, and Grand Pup Maxine. Left to mourn his passing his wife Jimmie Esters and their sons Brandon Esters and Brian (Fabiana) Esters.  His older children Bert Esters, Nathaniel (Sherry) Estes, Sonya Esters, Kimberly (Brad) Turner, Lori Esters, and Paris (Chris) Owens.  Grandchildren Nadia Esters, Hannah Snyder, Andre Estes, Natalie (Ryan) Jeans, Andrew (Savannah) Estes, Kadesha Estes, Marcus Twyman, Brittany (Ronald) Gooch, Maya Addison, Trenten Turner, Briana Esters, Chrysten Owens, Chris Owens Jr, and Grand Pup Chewy. 15 Great Grandchildren, his brothers John Parker Sr, Randall Esters, Morris Esters, Michael Tole, Ronnie Tole, Lonnie Tole, and sister Mary Catherine Esters. A host of extended family and friends, and although cousins they were more like brothers and best friend, Elwin Townsend.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. Buddy D. Esters, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, September 30, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, September 30, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 855

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree