Friday, May 6, 2011


On Saturday, April 30th, our family gathered at my parents' home to celebrate the life of my dad and commemorate his ashes.  Mom read Psalm 23; I prayed; then we walked around the property he loved so much.  We spread the ashes around the plants and trees that he planted and nurtured; around the playhouse that he built for his 5 grandsons; where the deer come out to graze; and into the wind.  It was a perfectly beautiful day.  Although we are sad and will always miss him, we rejoice in his full and wonderful life.

The following appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Alton Telegraph:

Dr. Joe F. Emons died peacefully on April 27th 2011 at his home in Godfrey surrounded by his family. Born September 14, 1926 in Alton, he was the son of Dr. Walter W. and Helen (Finger) Emons. Dr. Emons moved to Godfrey at age 9 and lived there the rest of his life. His father was a dentist and the profession seemed interesting so after serving in the Army Air Corps he decided to follow in his footsteps. He attended Shurtleff College, University of Illinois in Galesburg, and St. Louis University Dental School, graduating in 1952. Dr. Emons practiced dentistry in Alton for 50 years, always finding his work to be exciting, challenging, and gratifying. In 1950 he married the former Shirley Zito who survives. Their children are Paula Emons-Fuessle and her husband, Robert, of Washington, IL, Gayle Joehl and her husband, Steve, of Chesterfield, MO, and Dr. Matt Emons of West Hollywood, CA. Also surviving are five grandsons, Torben Fuessle and wife Stacy of Midlothian, VA, Nils Fuessle and his fiancée Emily Bond of Kansas City, MO, Peter Fuessle of Los Alamos, NM, Andy Joehl and his fiancée Susan Larson of St. Louis Park, MN, and Eric Joehl of Evanston, IL. He was preceded in death by his sister, E. Joan Martin.

Dr. Emons’ primary hobby was racing sailplanes. He was always grateful that it was a seasonal sport so that he could pursue his other hobbies which included watercolor painting, machine shop work, woodworking, and woodturning. In February 2010 his art and life were featured in an exhibit in the Trimpe Building at Lewis & Clark Community College. One of his most satisfying accomplishments was that he built the home he and his wife shared for 42 years. It took four years of perseverance since he did all the work himself including carpenter work, plumbing, heating and electrical. Dr. Emons was a member of the International Wood Collectors Society. He was an active member of the Woodturners of St. Louis and was recently awarded their first commendation as a lifetime member. He was a member of St. Louis Soaring Club, Silver Creek Soaring Club, and the Soaring Society of America. He won the 15 Meter National Championship in Bryan, OH in 1976 as well as many other soaring competitions. Memorials may be made to the Alton Catholic Children’s Home, 1400 State St., Alton IL 62002 or to a charity of choice. Gent Funeral Home in Alton is in charge of arrangements.

In 1991 Joe wrote: When my time comes, please don’t have a funeral for me... I know the family will want to get together and console one another but try not to feel badly about my death; it is inevitable for all of us. Not many people can say they enjoyed life more than I. How fortunate I was to marry Shirley and to bring three beautiful children into this world. How many can say they flew with the birds, traveled extensively, built their own home, enjoyed many hobbies and earned a respectable living helping other people save their teeth. So no coffin, no grave, no services, just fond memories.


Sail away.


Kim said...

Paula, I am so sorry to read of your dad's passing! It is so obvious to see how much you loved your dad in your last few posts.

I am praying for peace and healing for you and your family.


Julia aka Choosejoy said...

Paula your dad was an awesome man. I know you will all miss him very much. I see so many of his qualities in you. Take good care, friend.


Mette said...

Thank you, Paula, for this heart warming post.

KPiep said...

Beautiful..just beautiful.

My love to you all.

Angie said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. There is a lot to learn from a life so richly lived.

Brenda said...

Paula, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your father was an exceptional man. How fortunate for you and your family and friends, that he was in your lives.

Nilu said...

What a wonderful Man! Thanks for sharing this post with us.

Jean A said...


A beautiful, moving tribute to a wonderful man - my condolences to you and your family. Jean

Debi3735 said...

what a perfect post

Anonymous said...

Your father knew a thing or two about how to live. How lucky you all were to call him dad.

Anonymous said...

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Reading your loss of your father was especially touching. Sorry for your loss.
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