Christine Essbach-Karim


Christine Essbach-Karim 

June 12, 1970 - April 21, 2023


God bestowed the gift of life on Christine June 12, 1970 and the gift of eternal life on April 21, 2023.


Christine was born in Camden, NJ to Heidemarie (Grebe) Essbach and Richard J. Essbach.  Shortly thereafter they  moved to Northern NJ, settling in Kinnelon where Christine grew up.   


She was baptized (1971) and confirmed (1985) at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Mountain Lakes, NJ.  


Christine graduated from Kinnelon High School.  She attended Concordia College in Bronxville, NY and graduated from Glassboro State College with a degree in Elementary education.  She received her Master’s Degree in Reading K-12 in 2001 from SUNY, New Paltz.  


Christine was an Elementary teacher in the Warwick school district until taking a position with the Passaic County NJ School District in 2001 where she was still employed. Christine was a tenured Professional Educator.  


Christine married her husband Shiraz in 2005 and they were blessed with a wonderful son, Rocco in 2008.  Her husband Shiraz predeceased her in 2013.  


Christine and Rocco were currently residing with her long time life partner, Jon Dupee.  


Christine was a happy, cheerful and very talented person.  She and her brother Christopher were extremely close.  He loved his “Big Sister” dearly.  They remained close their entire lives. She excelled at music, playing several instruments and singing with perfect pitch.  She enjoyed visiting relatives in Germany and especially family trips to the Jersey Shore!  Her love of music pervaded her life.  She had been a regular singer and musician on the GSLC Contemporary Worship Team along with her Dad.  She performed locally with acoustic musicians.  Christine, Jon and Rocco have travelled extensively “touring the bands” as big fans of the Woodstock generation.  


Christine was an Independent, Bold, Free Spirit who was full of love and joy.  She is a blessing to her family and friends, a child of God who will be greatly missed.  


Christine is survived by her son Rocco, her father Richard and his wife Claudia, her brother Christopher, her nephews and niece, Christopher Jr., Christian and Brittany and her life partner, Jon Dupee. Her mother Heidemarie predeceased her in 2006. 


We rejoice that through Christine’s faith in Jesus, she has received from our Lord the wondrous life in heaven that is the glorious expectation of all believers, an eternal life of perfect peace, free from the pain and struggles of this life. Christine is reunited with her beloved mother Heide, and loved ones who went before her.  Through our faith in Christ, we will see her again in eternity.     


Private arrangements have been made by Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick, NY. To send an online condolence, visit

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