MT. PULASKI - Emmitt A. Shellhammer, 96, of Mt. Pulaski, Ill., passed away at 4:51 a.m., Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at Vonderlieth Living Center in Mt. Pulaski.
Emmitt was born July 3, 1916, on the Shellhammer family farm in rural Mt. Pulaski to Albert and Mary Schroth Shellhammer. He married Muriel J. Brown on March 23, 1941, in Springfield, Ill. She preceded him in death on Nov. 7, 1998. He was also preceded in death by his son, David Shellhammer, on Aug. 25, 1997, his parents, a brother and a sister.
Emmitt is survived by his daughter, Debra Fricke-Pharis of Springfield; a grandson, Nathan (Heather) Fricke, two great-grand-sons, Benjamin Fricke and Jackson Fricke, all of Mt. Pulaski; daughter-in-law, Nicki Shellhammer Yemm of Springfield; a nephew and several cousins.
Mr. Shellhammer grew up on the family farm, attended Mt. Pulaski schools and graduated high school in 1934. He was a 1938 graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in Agriculture, where he was also a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. After graduation he farmed the family homestead with his father until he married and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.
Although he rarely spoke of his service in the Navy, he was a 1st Lieutenant and Chief Engineering Officer on the LST 878 in the Pacific Theater. While serving in WWII he was at the battle of Saipan, Iwo Jima and personally witnessed General MacArthur signing the Japanese Instruments of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri which marked the end of WWII.
He farmed for over 50 years until 1967 when he and Muriel left the farm for "city" living, remaining in Mt. Pulaski until his death. For a number of years before and after retirement he was a crop hail adjuster for Grinnell Mutual Insurance. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Mt. Pulaski.
After retirement he and Muriel enjoyed traveling and spent many winters in Sarasota, Fla., where they had many snowbird friends. They also traveled to Europe and took several cruises.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home in Mt. Pulaski, with Mark Weber officiating. Burial with full military honors will be at the family plot at Steenbergen Cemetery, rural Mt. Pulaski.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to Vonderlieth Living Center, 1120 North Topper Rd., Mt. Pulaski, IL 62548.