Obituary of Honorable Joseph P. Hester, Jr.
The Honorable Joseph P. Hester, Jr., 78, passed away on September 26, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. Despite struggling with Parkinson's Disease for several years, Joe lived his life to the fullest until the end. Joe practiced law in New York and Pennsylvania for over 50 years. He thoroughly enjoyed practicing Family Law for 25 years prior to becoming a Broome County Family Court Judge and a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Joe was a devoted husband and friend to his beautiful bride, with whom he recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. He was a loving father, father-in-law & grandfather. Joe was a source of warmth, love and wit for the many people who were a part of his world. Joe enjoyed a rich social life and was blessed with many good friends. Born in Binghamton, NY, Joe was an accomplished graduate of Binghamton High School, Yale College and Syracuse University Law School. Joe believed that education was the key to personal enrichment and opportunities. He valued family, friendship, and always looked for the good in others. He was an active member of civic and social life in his community, having been a past President of the Binghamton City Council, a former Chairman of Broome County Republican Party, a board member of the Catholic Social Services, a board member of the Rose Conservancy and a member of the 21 Club. He was a life long member of St. Patrick's Church, Binghamton and it's choir. An avid sportsman, Joe was happiest on a tennis or squash court, a ski slope or jumping in a lake. His friends and family will always remember him as a kind, wise, playful and gentle soul. Joe is predeceased by his parents, Joseph P. Hester, Sr. and Mary Walpole Hester. Joe is survived by his wife, Suzanne Fischer Hester and their two children: Bridget Hester Fantini and her husband Riccardo, Kate Hester Siler and her husband Matt; two grandchildren: Giulia Fantini and Camille Siler; two sisters: Marilyn Hester Ridgley and her husband Robert, Joan Hester Young and her husband John; the Fischer family; many beloved nieces and nephews and many dear friends. A Funeral Mass will be offered at St. Patrick's Church, corner of Oak and Leroy Streets, Binghamton, Saturday, at 9:30 a.m. The Rev. Msgr. John P. Putano will officiate. Burial will be in St. Augustine's Cemetery, Silver Lake, PA. The family will receive friends at J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home, 141 Main Street, Binghamton, Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. As Joe always believed in the best of humankind, in lieu of flowers, our family encourages everyone to practice an act of kindness or to donate, in Joe's name, to a charity that is important to you.