ROUTSON, Emmit Noel (Age 78) Passed away March 14 at Hospice House of North Idaho. He was born on April 3, 1934 in Mesa, Idaho to Noel and Una Routson, the second of five children. The family lived in the Big Creek area of south central Idaho where Emmit's father was a forest ranger. When Emmit was five, the family moved to Alaska where under the Homestead Act they acquired a piece of property in Homer, overlooking Kachemak Bay. Emmit's father's work later took them inland to Palmer, Tanacross, and to the Windermere Valley in British Columbia. These experiences, living in challenging and remote locations, inspired Emmit's deep love for all things outdoors. When he was 18, Emmit joined the Navy and was trained as a radioman. He served for four years during the Korean War including a deployment on the USS Lyman K Swenson, a destroyer in the seventh fleet. He enjoyed his travels during his Navy days and developed a deep love for sailing and the sea. He later went on to own several sailboats. Sailing was a highlight in Emmit's life and provided him enjoyment, peace, and adventure. After the Navy, Emmit reconnected with his love from Windemere, Kathryn Hecher, and they married in Spokane on August 16, 1958. They had three children who shared many wonderful adventures with them, including living in remote environments. Emmit graduated from WSU with a BS in psychology and from the University of Washington with a Masters of Social Work. Emmit spent his career in many areas of social welfare, including in Spokane at DSHS and the YWCA where he created a drop in center for juvenile offenders. He also supervised graduate students from WSU and UW and worked at the Coeur d' Alene Mental Health Center. While there, he wrote a grant for and partnered with the community to create Trinity Homes. He finished his career working at Eastern State Hospital, and while there wrote proposals for many projects that were implemented including the Blue House. Emmit was honored as Social Worker of the Year for Idaho in 1983 and was beloved by his colleagues as well as his patients and clients. He shared a deep spiritual connection with people and saw all as part of each other. He worked tirelessly in life to put his beliefs into practice, inspiring many to do the same along the way. He was adored by his family who looked to him for his sage advice and support (with a little humor thrown in). He is survived by his loving wife Kathryn; daughter Susan Levernier (Paul) and grandchildren Jacob and Sari; son Craig Routson (Priscilla) and grandchildren Jessica and Logan; and son Martin Routson and grandchildren Torey, Amiah, and Rianna. Emmit's greatest joy in life was his family. We (including Emmit) would like to express our sincere and loving gratitude to all of the wonderful people who helped Emmit during his illness: Dr. Lamm, Jo Bruning, Cori, Mary, and Cheryl as well as the radiation and chemo specialists at Kootenai Cancer Center. Additionally, we thank the beautiful staff of Hospice of North Idaho and Hospice House. Collectively, your expert and tender care of our sweet Emmit will be forever appreciated and remain in our memories. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Trinity Homes or Hospice of North Idaho. A funeral mass to celebrate Emmit's life will be held at 12:00 Noon on Friday, March 22nd at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 625 E. Haycraft Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Yates Funeral Homes has been entrusted with the care of final arrangements. YATES FUNERAL HOME, Coeur d'Alene, ID
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Published in Spokesman-Review on Mar. 20, 2013