Joseph P. Hester Jr.


Died September 13, 1939 – September 26, 2017,Binghamton, NY

College: Trumbull
Major: American Studies
Graduate School: Syracuse University, LL.B., Law, 1964

Widow: Mrs. Suzanne F. Hester
50 Crestmont Road
Binghamton, NY 13905-4118
607-427-6190 (mobile);

Children: Bridget Hester Fantini, 1970; Kate Hester, 1972

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.

Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, 2017

The longer I live, I realize even more what a wonderful undergraduate education Yale provided. Professors were great. I’m thinking of Vincent Scully (American Architecture) and John Morton Blum and Edward S. Morgan (History). I always remember Vincent Scully reading a poem about the burning of Taliesin. It moved him deeply, and the tears were coming down his cheeks as he concluded his lecture.

I remember also, during our freshman year that Harry S. Truman came to our history lecture and spoke. It was thrilling when he joined our discussion group at Trumbull College. A small group of 12 young men had the opportunity to discuss with the ex-president his decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These were formative experiences that I shall always treasure.

The college system was great because it allowed us to make good friends who have remained friends for a lifetime. I continue to enjoy these friendships at each reunion and look forward to our 50th!