Solana Beach resident remembered for the joy she brought to others


By Karen Billing

Solana Beach resident and devoted community volunteer Sedef Esener passed away on April 1 at age 48 after a courageous and selfless four-year fight with rectal cancer. She is survived by her parents Ozden Richter and Coskun Erkam; husband Sadik, children Selin and Eren, as well as a multitude of friends locally and across the globe.

She passed away peacefully in her Solana Beach home, holding her mother’s hand.

“If I had one word to describe her, it would be ‘Glue,’” said her friend of 13 years Janet Raschke, who spoke on behalf of Sedef’s many friends in this interview. “She was the glue that brings everyone together and holds them.”

“A lot of people said that she was the glue and that really represents her character,” said her husband Sadik. “Even at tough times, she was easygoing and smiling and making sure everyone else was comfortable.”

Memorial scholarships have been set up in her name at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer, where she committed so much of her time, and at a Dollars for Scholars memorial scholarship at Torrey Pines High School. If all goes as planned, the first scholarship in her memory will be given this spring.

A celebration of her life was held at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar on April 6 and Raschke said they couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

“It was so beautiful, the sunset and the full moon rising,” said her mother Ozden Richter, noting it was as if the sun was setting in slow motion. Sadik let a balloon go into the sky and it got stuck on a palm tree.

“It was like one last goodbye,” said her mother through tears. “It was like she didn’t want to go yet.”

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