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(1942 - 2013). Dick Emerson, 70, died on April 22, 2013, after a yearlong battle with cancer. Born in Long Beach, CA, Dick - within a few months of his birth moved with his parents (Lloyd Emerson & Shirley Huebler) to Miami, FL, and later, at age 15, moved to Norfolk, VA, where he attended and graduated from Maury High School. In 1961 Dick entered the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, graduating four years later with his Bachelor of Science degree. At the Academy he won his varsity letter in boxing, and as an upperclassman, was very nearly undefeated, losing only one match in his division in two years. After graduation, Dick served 11 years in the U.S. Navy including two tours of duty in Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star for saving the life of a fellow officer in combat. Since leaving the Navy in 1976 with the rank of Lt. Commander, Dick worked successfully in several different states and fields. In North Carolina he served for five years as Assistant to the Regional Director of the NC Bell Telephone Co. In South Carolina he established his own contracting and homebuilding business, eventually becoming president of the South Carolina Homebuilders Association. In Florida, he worked first in his own contracting business and later, as a financial advisor. He remained in this latter field for the last 20 years of his life, working first at Merrill-Lynch and then in his own independent firm. In his forties, Dick took up skydiving, leading winning teams in both exhibitions and competitions throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. As an avid outdoorsman, Dick enjoyed a variety of activities from hunting and fishing to scuba diving and golf, but throughout his life, from earliest childhood, fishing was the sport he seemed to love above all others. Dick is survived by his wife Susan Gemberling Emerson; his son Erik Emerson & daughter-in-law Ellen Stafford Emerson; his daughter Alicia Emerson Collier & son-in-law Roger Collier; and grandchildren Roger, Amber, Dante, Jack, Lindsay, Alexis & Kyle Collier; his daughter Alison Emerson Pandelos & son-in-law Nick Pandelos; and grandchildren Nikita & Lily Pandelos; his stepson John Gemberling (& John's wife Andrea Rosen & son Odin Bean Gemberling); and his devoted teacup poodle Sophie Jean LaMalee. On Sunday, April 28, at 4:30 in the afternoon, a private celebration of Dick's life will be held for close friends and family. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to Florida Hospital Hospice Care, 301 Memorial Medical Parkway, Daytona Beach, FL 32117.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Apr. 26, 2013