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Obituary

Darren Edward Esslinger 

Darren Esslinger closeup

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Darren Edward Esslinger, a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, passed away peacefully on December 13, 2018, at Hoag Hospital after a battle with cancer that began only 18 months earlier. Darren was 53. 

Raised in Newport Beach, Darren excelled in football at Newport Harbor High, class of 1983, then coached high school football. He earned his BA at University of California in History and went on to achieve a Degree of Law at Western State University College of Law in 2003, where he was graduated with honors. 

A life rooted in Laguna history, his grandparents, Dr. Paul (Doc) and Marie Esslinger, developed land they purchased in 1943 in South Laguna across from the Montage Resort. Darren served as Trustee over their estate for different periods over his lifetime and was dedicated to the preservation of their efforts, a task made complicated by litigation, but one to which he remained devoted. He enjoyed sports, travel, NYNY, organic gardening, playing guitar, and was known for his soft heart towards animals. He was loved by many and will be dearly missed. 

Darren is survived by his parents, Paul R. and Beverly Esslinger, his three sisters, Cheryl, Linda, and Jenifer, and his brother (Paul) Marty, as well as six nieces, two nephews, one great niece, and one great nephew. He was preceded in death by his brother Stephen in 2012. 

A celebration of Darren’s life for friends and loved ones will take place on Saturday, June 29 at 2 p.m. at Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach, located at 468 Legion St.