Esther C. Pilles

Esther C. Pilles, 66, a life long resident of Southold, beloved mother, well-known educator and 27-year breast cancer survivor died April 17, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and leukemia. 

Essie, as she was known to her friends, was the daughter of Richard F. Sr. and Esther C. Mullen. Born in Greenport, March 25, 1948, Essie’s passion for learning and education began at a young age and continued throughout her life. A graduate of Southold High School she went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from C.W. Post.

Her love of academia as a student later translated into a love for her chosen vocation; teaching. Essie was a speech pathologist at Oysterponds Elementary School for over 20 years prior to retiring in 2005. She was a devoted educator and former president of the Oysterponds Faculty Association.

Essie will be remembered for her sense of humor, keen wit, generosity, intelligence and especially for the exceptional grace and courage she displayed in the face of adversity during her battles with cancer. Essie was an avid reader who enjoyed the theater, boating and dinner with friends. Her true joy was spending time with her children and her dogs.

Essie is survived by her two children, Amy Pilles of Rocky Point and Kristopher Pilles of Cutchogue; her sister, Muriel Mothersele of Berlin, Conn.; her brother, Richard F. Mullen of Southold; as well as extended family members and her dear friends.

The family received visitors April 22 at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. The Liturgy of Christian Burial was celebrated April 23 at St. Patrick R.C. Church. Interment took place at the church cemetery.

Please consider donating platelets and joining the bone marrow registry in her honor. Be the Match Foundation (