Essner and Lorena Diebold were married May 4, 1946, at St. Augustine Church, by the Rev. Joseph Keusenkothen. Their attendants were Simon and Clara Essner, John Essner and Helen Menz.
The Essners have seven children, Anna Rose (Francis) Bles, Norman (Dottie) Essner, Marilyn (Randal) Friend, Robert (Karla) Essner, Jerome (Beverly) Essner, Shirley (Greg) Eftink, and Kevin (Laurie) Essner, all of Kelso.
The couple has 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.