Emerson, Mary Frances NATIONAL CITY -- Mary Frances Emerson, 87, passed away in her home surrounded by loving family and caregivers in National City, California on May 5, 2015. Mary died of natural causes following a long decline in her health. She was born on January 17, 1928 in El Paso, Texas, the daughter of Richard Michael Twiss, a mechanical engineer, and Gertrude Pole Twiss, a registered nurse. Her father worked as the manager of the Ground Hog Mine in Vanadium, New Mexico where she grew up with her sisters, Gertrude Twiss Delk and Patricia Twiss Barker. After graduating from Hurley High School in 1945, Mary joined the Nurse Cadet Corps. She received her training at St. Anthony Hospital in Denver, Colorado graduating with the last class of Nurse Cadets in 1948. In October 1949, she married Scott Walter Emerson. Scott was a member of the U.S. Air Force and, true to military life, there were frequent transfers as their family grew. After Scott's retirement in 1964, they settled in National City and later started the Emerson Insurance Agency which Mary continued after Scott's death in 1983. Mary is survived by her sister, Pat, and seven children, Marion Elise (Mark Melchiorre), Robert Scott (Robin), Lawrence Lee (Kyoko), Anne Kathleen (Geoffrey Burnaugh), Richard Michael, Scott David, and David Patrick (Christina). She was the devoted grandmother of Elise and Noel Belknap; Kenichi, Christine Marie and Sean Emerson; Neil Weber and Danielle and Ryan Emerson. During the time when Mary was bedridden, she held her first great-grandchild, Wyatt Heron, born to Elise Belknap and Roland Cusick. Beloved mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law, Mary embodied the spirit of grace, love and kindness. It was Mary's wish to be cremated and interred beside her husband at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA. A memorial service to celebrate her life is planned for August.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jun. 7, 2015.