ROBERT CHARLES EMERSON - RICHMOND - Robert Charles Emerson, 78, of Richmond, passed away peacefully, with his family at his side, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. He was born on Dec. 27, 1934, in Island Pond, to the late Charles and Bessie Emerson. Robert is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carolyn (Bishop) Emerson. Robert served 24 years with the United States Air Force, including service during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Robert retired at McDill AFB, Tampa, Fla., as a master sergeant and held the position of first sergeant of his squadron. While on active duty, Robert pursued a higher education and earned a Master's degree in Criminal Justice from Rollins College in May 1979. Robert's second career was with the State of Florida Probation Office. He retired after 20 years of service. In 1997, Robert and Carolyn returned to Vermont and settled in Richmond. Robert volunteered for 11 years with Meals on Wheels and was a proud member of the NRA. Robert was a loving father of his two sons, John Emerson and his wife, Theresa, of Richmond, and James Emerson and his fiance, Donna, of Apopka, Fla. He is also survived by his brother, Wayne Emerson and wife, Carol; his sister, Brenda Brown and husband, John; his brother, Donald and wife, Paula; his sister, Barbara Mullin; and sister-in-law, Karen Emerson, all of Florida. Robert was predeceased in 1957 by his brother, John Emerson. He was a beloved grandfather to four grandsons, Chris Emerson and wife, Hannah, Ben Emerson, Michael Emerson and his namesake, Robert Emerson. He was a great-grandfather to Annabelle and three step great-grandchildren, Gracie, Lilly and Emma. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends, including those of the 555 "Triple Nickel" Air Force Squadron. Special thanks and appreciation to the nursing staff at Fletcher Allen Health Care for the care and comfort they provided Bob and his family. The family would also like to thank Richmond Rescue and ask that in lieu of flowers, memorials in Robert's name be made to Richmond Rescue, Inc. P.O. Box 404, Richmond, VT 05477. Visiting hours will be on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gifford Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 22 Depot St., Richmond, VT 05477.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 9, 2013