Ken Emerick had a solid faith in God. He was industrious, frugal, and organized. He was pragmatic but had a sense of humor. He could be stern but was compassionate. He always tried to be a good example. Kenneth Eugene Emerick was born April 20, 1924 in Fort Wayne. He was the third of four boys born to Joseph Edward and Minnie M. (Snyder) Emerick. Living during the Great Depression, Ken and his family were fortunate to live on the family farm on Aboite Center Road a mile east of County Line Road. Money was scarce, but hard work gave them plenty of food to eat and enough to sell in Fort Wayne. He enjoyed sledding on the big hills on their 20-acre farm. After getting electricity in the house, Ken and his family would sit around the radio and listen to Amos & Andy in the evenings.
He attended 1st- 8th grade in a one room schoolhouse at Cory School, which later would be restored and is located on Aboite Center Road in Allen County. At Jefferson Center High School Ken played softball, ran track, and was on the basketball team. In high school Ken made some of his happiest memories, including playing basketball at Semi-State at Muncie Fieldhouse, making new friends, and meeting Barbara L. Wilson his freshman year. He graduated with the Class of 1941. Ken and Barbara started dating after high school.
Ken served in the U.S. Army during WWII from 1943 until 1946. While on leave, he and Barbara were married on July 9, 1944. Over the years, they would add four children to their hearts and home, Nancy, Cindy, Bruce and Brian. They enjoyed family camping trips, often to Northern Michigan for primitive camping at the Michigamme Reservoir, where they would go fishing and have a good fish fry. Ken enjoyed having great fun with his family, including fishing, swimming, walking through the woods, collecting driftwood, and having campfires. He loved freshwater fishing and restored a wooden speedboat that he taught his children how to ski behind and fish from.
Furthering his education, Ken attended Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In his work career, he helped his father, who was a skilled carpenter, build four houses. He worked for General Electric for 44 years, retiring in 1986 as a Superintendent. He also volunteered at Lutheran Hospital for several years. Ken gave his life to Christ at Dunfee Christian Church on County Line Road, where he served in several positions of responsibility over the years, including Treasurer, Trustee, Sunday School Superintendent, and Elder. When a group from the Church decided to plant a new church, after staying with Dunfee through the transition, he became a founding member of Westview Alliance Church in Fort Wayne, where he served as an Elder. After the passing of his first wife, Ken married Kay McFarland on September 27, 1997. Ken and Kay had attended church together and each of them had experienced the loss of the first spouse. Throughout their years together, they enjoyed attending church, watching sports, and seeing their grandchildren’s sports and activities.
In Ken’s senior years, Walt Holloway was his main fishing buddy. Scary at first, but humorous later, they accidentally overturned their boat during a fishing trip. They were both in their 80’s! Fortunately the water was only four feet deep.
After his health declined over the past few months, Kenneth Eugene Emerick, of Columbia City, passed away Sunday, August 30, 2020 at his home at the age of 96. He is survived by his wife, Kay Emerick; daughters, Nancy (Bill) Jackson and Cindy (Dan) Strader; sons, Bruce (JoAnne) Emerick and Brian (Sonya) Emerick; 2 step-daughters; 12 grandchildren, Joseph Jackson, Janelle Frerking, Andrew Strader, Adam Strader, Sean Strader, Bryce Emerick, Cari Mansfield, Mo Emerick, Noelle Brown, Brent Emerick, Bradley Emerick, and Eric Emerick; 18 great-grandchildren (plus two more on the way); two step-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Edward and Minnie M. (Snyder) Emerick; first wife, Barbara Emerick in 1995; and brothers, J. Roy Emerick, Russell Emerick and Robert Emerick.
A gathering of family and friends will be 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, September 3, 2020 at Westview Alliance Church, 9804 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne. With the current Executive Order, face masks are required for attendance and preferred by the family. Funeral services will be 10 a.m., Friday at the church with visitation one-hour prior. Pastor Ron Walker will be officiating. Funeral service may also be watched live on Facebook through DeMoney Grimes Live. Burial will take place at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Memorial donations may be given in memory to Westview Alliance Missionary Church or Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home. Arrangements with DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Visit www.DeMoneyGrimes.com to send Ken’s family online condolences or sign the online guest book.
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