David K. Essary

David K. Essary died peacefully April 12 at the age of 69. David was born in Corinth on Valentine’s Day, 1950 to Imogene Lancaster Russell and Durell Essary, but lived most of his life in Memphis. David’s life was first and foremost devoted to God and his family. In addition to his desire to serve others, David had a multitude of passions, from delving into the intricate history of Memphis music, listening to the Delta blues and classic rock ‘n soul music, and priding himself on having a mental library of what he called “useless knowledge,” which he was always ready to share with others. David also had a deep passion for automobiles, motorcycles, and sports of almost any type, with particular interest in helping support his children and grandchildren in their sports activities. Later in life, he developed a passion for painting, often gifting family members with his artwork.

David was graduated from Oakhaven High School in 1968 and attended Memphis State University. After a stint in the Air Force, during the Vietnam War, David quickly found success in the grocery industry, where he spent the majority of his career. David spent 24 years with Jitney Jungle, a grocery chain with corporate offices in Jackson, where he rose from a meat manager to the company COO. At Jitney, David was honored and respected for his caring, people-first style of business. After helping lead the company to its sale in 1996, David left Jitney in 1998, and co-founded David Essary and Associates, LLC. At D.E. and Associates, David had the opportunity to work with his long-time friends and associates at Sanderson Farms, where he was passionate about helping a Mississippi-based company to grow on a national scale.

After a partial retirement in 2015, David spent his time focusing on family. In his last few years, David and his wife, Sherry, were inseparable, spending nearly every minute of every day together; whether that be attending Church at Crossroads United Methodist or Grace Evangelical Church, spending time with children, grandchildren, parents, brother and sister-in-law, his two nieces, long-time friends, or simply enjoying slow days together.

David is survived by his wife, Sherry, sons Keith (Shannon) and Kevin (Stacie), and four grandchildren: Austin (24), Alexandria (14), Josie (13), and Luke (10), his mother-in-law Josephine Travis; sister and brother-in-law Donna and Steven Snow; and nieces Abigail and Isabella Snow. David is also survived by his aunt, Syble Wilburn (Frank); and cousins Pat and Perry Wilburn, Jim Tankersley, and Tambra Champagne.


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1. He has been married for 21 years to his high school sweetheart. 2. He and his wife have four children.