John Emerson: 1961-2023
Last updated 11/16/2023 at 1:20pm
John Emerson passed away on Nov. 2 at home after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was born in Lafayette, Indiana, to James J. and Nancy M. Emerson.
John graduated from West Lafayette High School and eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he specialized in repairing helicopters. Upon discharge, he returned to West Lafayette, where he enrolled at Purdue University in their Aeronautical Engineering program, graduating in 1990.
He worked 40-hour weeks, putting himself through school. After graduation from Purdue, John married Beverly Van Lenten, who he met in communications class, and headed to greater Seattle where he began his 30-plus-year career with the Boeing Company.
As 777 Wing/Empennage senior stress Lead, he achieved the much-coveted position of Associate Technical Fellow, an honor that only 5% of Boeing engineers ever achieve.
He enjoyed flying remote-control airplanes, even participating in IMAC competitions with large 40% scale aerobatic planes. He was a skilled golfer, and somehow managed to play well regardless of how many months he spent away from the sport.
With Bev's encouragement, he became a skilled whitewater kayaker, even taking on international rivers and waterfalls with her. Together with the kids they enjoyed downhill skiing, fishing, hiking, and camping together.
He spent significant amounts of time on the soccer field sidelines encouraging the kids (and helping the refs!) He was always present for their performances, whether at church or at school.
But most of John's free time was spent using his extensive repair and building skills for his family and friends. After building a 1,700-square-foot studio for a friend as "practice," he built their home from ground up on a blackberry lot in Gig Harbor, and then completely renovated the family's current home in Edmonds, even adding on a pergola with fireplace and creating a beautiful greenhouse/she-shed for Bev a year ago – in the midst of cancer treatment.
No contractor for him – he actually did the majority of work himself. He happily shared these skills with family and friends, sometimes even flying across the country to help lay tile. He will be remembered for how hard he worked throughout his life and how fiercely he protected and cared for his family.
John is survived by wife of 33 years Beverly, daughter Jessica Lily, son Joshua James, mother Nancy Emerson, and sister Emily Emerson, all of Edmonds. He was predeceased by his father, Jim Emerson.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. at Bethany Community Church at 8023 Green Lake Drive. N, Seattle.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Lung Association or the charity of your choice.