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Penny-Sue Esbensen


Last updated 11/2/2017 at Noon

Penny-Sue Esbensen, of Fallbrook, passed away on October 20, 2017 after a valiant and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born to Gloria and Warren Hoppmeyer on May 5, 1952 in New Orleans, La.

Growing up with four brothers, she was active in sports and school. She was a talented softball player who went to state finals with her team. She also ran track and was active in student government, was a cheerleader, was in the homecoming court, as well as a member of the XLO Sorority in high school.

She attended the University of New Orleans as well as Louisiana State University and was a lifelong LSU Tiger fan. She was also a New Orleans Saints fan, as well as a San Diego Padres fan. In 1981, she moved to California to marry her husband of 36 years, Mark Esbensen.

Penny was a pillar of every community she lived in, but especially her longtime home of Fallbrook, Calif. She was elected to and served on the Fallbrook Elementary School Board for eight years; she led the Fallbrook High School Water Polo Boosters club for over 15 years; she participated in National Charity League; and hosted several foreign exchange students, becoming a second mom to Orkun Aksaray, who lived with the Esbensen’s his senior year at Fallbrook High School.

Penny and Orkun stayed in touch over the years and she loved him very much. Penny served in countless other ways throughout her community.

Penny was a loving, caring, and supportive wife to her husband Mark. She was a mother to four very active children and “Nonnie” to her eight grandchildren. She spent most of her adult life watching and cheering her children in water polo games, baseball games, soccer matches, equestrian shows, and swim meets. Most of the water polo referees and coaches in San Diego County knew her by name. Her children would say that they cannot remember a single game, show, or meet that their mother didn’t attend.

In 2006 Penny became a grandmother, or as her grandchildren called her, “Nonnie”. By the time she passed, she had eight grandchildren. She was as active a grandmother as she was a mother. Most of her grandchildren’s friends called her Nonnie and thought of her as one of their own grandparents.

Penny was preceded in death by her parents, Warren and Gloria Hoppmeyer, of New Orleans, La. She is survived by her beloved husband, Mark Esbensen; her son, Scott Forest and wife Julie Forest, of Temecula; her daughter Erin Merry and husband Matthew Merry, of Fallbrook; her daughter Dana Siverthorne and husband William Silverthorne, of Fallbrook, and daughter Allison Esbensen, of Fallbrook; her grandchildren, Matthew Jr., Scott Jr., Brady, Hayden, Lexi, Penelope, Peyton and Bodie; her brothers Warren Hoppmeyer, of Connecticut; Scott Hoppmeyer, of New Orleans; Todd Hoppmeyer, of Atlanta, and Ward Hoppmeyer, of New Orleans; and countless other family and friends.

She will be dearly missed by all who knew her. She was a light in the lives of so many and one of those people who made everyone feel like family. She will be her family’s guardian angel and as one of her grandchildren said, "Now Nonnie will be able to watch all of our games at the same time” …and you can bet she will be.

A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, Nov. 5 from 2 to 5 p.m. at REINS, 4461 S. Mission Rd., Fallbrook, CA.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to pancreatic cancer research at


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