Steve Essaff

a retired award-winning Examiner photographer, died Thursday night after a six-month fight with cancer. He was 71. A native of San Francisco, Mr. Essaff enlisted in the Army after graduation from Polytechnic High School during World War II. He served a photographer with the Medical Corps. He joined the staff of the Examiner in 1958. He had previously worked almost 15 y ears with International News Photo until INP merged with United Press. He retired from the Examiner on March 29, 1991, forming a distinguished career, during which he was awarded the California Press Photographers Association's Gold Seal in 1983 for first place in its portrait/personality news photography competition. An easygoing and soft-spoken man, Mr. Essaff spent his last few years with the Examiner and an "inside man" or "hypo bender." Before the arrival of automated developing machines, an "inside man" developed film and printed pictures taken by other photographers. On rare occasions, Mr. Essaff would also be sent out on assignments, which he enjoyed and excelled in. Included among his assignments was a quick dispatch in a rescue plane in search of survivors after a plane went down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 1958, while he was working for INP. He also covered political conventions. He formerly owned "Beeps Burgers," a small fast-food restaurant on Ocean Avenue near City College in San Francisco. After retiring, he continued his hobby of cooking and did all the cooking at his Millbrae home. "I have no idea where anything is in our kitchen," said Una, his wife of 41 years. The always jovial and slightly rotund Mr. Essaff died at Stanford Hospital. His family was with him when he died. In addition to his wife, Mr. Essaff is survived by a daughter, Anne Severs of Livermore; three sons, Peter of Sacramento, James of Elk Grove, and Robert of Fremont; a sister, Emily Farrah of Millbrae; and a brother George of Scottsdale, Ariz. Please send any letters of condolences to: Una Essaff, 269 Castenada Dr., Millbrea 94030. (415) 697-0399

 

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