Obituary: Fernando M. Esteban, 1935 - 2024

Nantucket Current •

Fernando M. Esteban, 89, of Nantucket, Massachusetts, peacefully passed away on May 31, 2024 in the comfort of his home. A Spaniard by birth, Fernando was born to Don Julio Esteban de Anguita and Carmen Esteban de Ramón in Manila, Philippines on February 24, 1935. He was the youngest of four brothers.

He is remembered for living a full life, connected to many countries and communities. Having grown up in the Philippines during WWII and narrowly surviving the Japanese occupation before he was 9-years old, he had a unique appreciation for life and cultivating friendships. He was a welcoming host and storyteller, loved good food, and was infinitely resourceful, never letting anything go to waste.

His family stayed in Manila after the war where Fernando graduated from Letran High School. As a young man, he moved to Hong Kong to study Divinity and became a Dominican priest. In his 30’s Fernando left the priesthood, and rejoined his family in their new hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Fernando pursued teaching. He earned his teaching certificate from Coppin State College and taught special education at Towson High School. He brought his athletic talents to coaching the school’s soccer team, leading the Towson Generals to State Championships in 1982.

While in Baltimore, he married Dr. Margaret “Tinka” Knopf, a gifted pianist, fellow educator, and native of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Fernando had first met Tinka years earlier in Madrid; she was studying piano as a student of Fernando’s father at the time they first met. Eventually, the pair reunited, married, and built their routines on an international scale; summering in Nantucket, wintering in Palma de Mallorca, and visiting friends and family around the globe.

Through his many experiences, Fernando became a skilled linguist, speaking Tagalog, Cantonese, Spanish and English with ability to passably communicate in several others. He shared his linguistic talents with many patients at Nantucket Cottage Hospital where he proudly served as an interpreter for several years.

Mr. Esteban is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Margaret “Tinka” Knopf de Esteban; and his eldest brother, Julio Ramón Esteban, Jr., and many loving nieces and nephews. He joins his brothers, Luis and Tony Esteban who had predeceased him. And no doubt, he would take this opportunity to recount his favorite parting advice at the end of any party; “Don’t forget to sleep with your eyes closed.”

Please join us celebrating his life at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (20 Fair Street, Nantucket, MA) on Friday, June 7 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Baltimore, Maryland ( or The Homestead of Nantucket, MA (

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