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Obituary of Richard Leroy Emerson
Richard Leroy Emerson passed away of severe septic shock on December 23, 2020, in Olympia, Washington. Dick was born May 20, 1927, to Anton and Ruth (Kenoyer) Emerson in Albion, Whitman County, Washington. He lived in many places during the course of his 93 ½ years; see list below.
Dick attended grade school through high school in Albion (1932-1944). He enjoyed one semester at Washington State College (now University) in Pullman, Washington, before being drafted at age 18 into the U.S. Air Force in 1945, serving until 1949. He had begun his second semester in Pullman in 1950, when he was recalled to the USAF (1950-1951). He returned to college in 1952, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1954.
Dick’s military service took place during World War II. He served in the 58th Army Airways and Communications Service (AACS) in the European Theater Cryptographic Section in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt, Germany, and Naples, Italy. He was later recalled to Travis Air Force Base for crypto maintenance during the Korean War.
Dick married Bernice Lee Caine on August 20, 1955, in Oakland, California. She passed away April 11, 2017, at age 92.
Dick began his professional career in 1955 as Electrical Field Engineer for Western Union Telegraph Co., followed by Project Supervisor and Senior Engineer for Western Union of New York City (1965), and Director of Autodin Project Engineering in private systems projects (1969). After retiring from Western Union in 1979, he was employed by Ford Aerospace in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as Senior Engineering Specialist Command/Control and Communications Operation. He retired in 1992.
Dick was witty, kind and generous. Though he had many accomplishments, he was never arrogant. This gentle and thoughtful man was loved by all; even animals were drawn to him. His hobbies included gardening and sailing. He also enjoyed fishing, boating, boat building, gold mining, and guns. He was a member of the NRA, Mensa, the Heritage Foundation, and Sons of Norway.
He is survived by his daughters, Catherine Lee Egan of Olympia, Karen Sue Ordos of Lacey, Washington, Connie Marie Weisdepp of Olympia, and Carol Lynn Neitzelt of Lacey; 14 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and sisters, Eileen Emerson Gregory of Peyton, Colorado, and Evelyn Emerson White of Walla Walla, Washington.
He was predeceased by his grandparents, James Fredrick Kenoyer and Eva Luce; parents, Anton and Ruth Emerson; wife, Bernice Emerson; son, Richard A. Emerson; and brothers, James A. Emerson Sr. and Donald L. Emerson.
Services will be planned for a future date. Memorial donations may be made to Guy-Albion Historical Society, P.O. Box 421, Albion, WA 99102-0098.
Places of residence after Dick completed his education and military service:
- Berkley, California 1955
- Chattanooga, Tennessee 1956
- Suitland, Maryland 1956, and Washington, D.C. - 1957
- Sacramento, California 1958-1960, 1965
- Camden and Westmont, New Jersey 1961
- San Bernadino, California 1962, 1963
- Utah 1962
- Texas 1962
- Colorado Springs, Colorado 1962, 1979-1984
- Midland Park, New Jersey 1963-1965
- Oklahoma 1963
- Wayne, New Jersey 1965
- Portland, Oregon 1971
- Centreville, Virginia 1972-1978
- Boston, Massachusetts 1984-1985
- Manchester, New Hampshire – 1984, 1985
- Nashua, New Hampshire – 1987
- Sunnyvale, California – 1987, 1992
- Milpitas, California – 1987, 1988, 1991
- Cheney, Washington – 1988-1990, 1992-2016
- Thule, Greenland – 1990, 1992
- Seychelles Island – 1990
- Albion, Washington – 1990
- Merrimac, New Hampshire – 1991
- Heathrow and London, England – 1991, 1992
- Hawaii – 1992
- Guam – 1992
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