|Birth: ||Aug. 30, 1915|
|Death: ||Oct. 8, 2007|
EMERY, Harry C. - Aug. 30, 1915 - October 8, 2007. The public is invited to share in remembering Harry's life at 11:00 a.m. October 24th. The celebration will be held at First United Methodist Church, 1551 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Harry to a college scholarship fund benefiting Native American students: Emery Family Memorial Scholarship, Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401. In addition, friends are also invited to visit a memorial website in Harry's honor at http://www.harryemery.legacy.com
Published in the Press Democrat on 10/22/2007.
Full Name: Harry C Emery
Date of Birth: August 30, 1915
Date of Death: October 08, 2007
Country of Birth: United States
Place of Birth: Sheridan, Wyoming
Place of Death: Greenbrae, California
Memberships: Lions Club International, 35 years
First United Methodist Church, Santa Rosa, 78 years
Biography: Harry Emery was born August 30, 1915, in the small town of Sheridan, Wyoming where he grew up. Harry's father was struggling to find enough work, so in 1927, twelve-year-old Harry, along with his parents and two younger sisters, packed up their lives and drove a 1925 Star to sunny central California—in fact, they left Sheridan, Wyoming for Sheridan, California! Harry and family finally arrived in Sonoma County in 1929, where he later married and made his home.
Harry graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1933. While in high school, Harry found that he particularly enjoyed woodworking. He developed his skills through wood-shop classes, and, for his senior project, made a beautiful dining set that he used in his home throughout his life.
He was well known for being good with his hands, so a local saddle maker recruited him to work as an apprentice in his leather shop. Eventually, Harry opened Emery's Saddlery, the family business he and his wife Carrie ran for more than 35 years. Harry built nearly one hundred saddles throughout his lifetime!
Harry met then 16-year-old Carrie Lou Western at Santa Rosa Methodist Church in 1936, and they were married on August 17, 1940. Over the next 22 years they had seven children––four boys and three girls. Harry had a large family, including more than twenty children through short-term foster care programs. In addition, in 1958 the Emery family co-sponsored a Hungarian refugee family with whom they are still close.
If his family was Harry's first love, surely his work was his second. Custom-made saddles were his pride and joy. The business was called Emery's Saddlery, and the fact that Harry put his name behind his work was a testament to its quality. Saddles, riding gear, boots, and clothes filled the shop, as well as Native American jewelry, blankets, baskets, pottery and beadwork. Carrie's heart had a special place for Native American culture, and it was shown by the artifacts they offered for sale in the store.
Harry always had a great sense of humor. When highway 101 was put in through Santa Rosa, it cut off their business from the majority of the city. So, they simply packed up their shop, loaded it onto a horse-drawn wagon, and with a sign reading "Coddingtown or Bust!" they struck out for the north end of town. In August of 1967, Emery's Saddlery was open for business in the Coddingtown Shopping Center.
Harry was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa for 78 years, and with Coddingtown Lions Club for over 30 years, holding offices of President and Deputy District Governor. During the saddle-shop days in Coddingtown, Harry was instrumental in developing and leading a committee of fellow merchants to build a series of 12 award-winning floats for the annual Rose Parade. Finally, in 1980, after 35 years, they sold the business and retired.
Retirement did not mean slowing down for Harry. He continued making redwood burl clocks and various other furniture items for many years. Harry once estimated that he handcrafted and sold between forty and fifty of those beautiful timepieces.
Growing up, the Emery family loved to travel and enjoyed camping and other outdoor activities––fishing in particular. During the summers, they would drive up the coast to their own permanent campsite for weekend trips at Anchor Bay Campground. These outdoor traditions continued long into retirement. On his 75th birthday, while fishing in Alaska with his sons on the Kenai River, Harry's greatest angling fantasy became a reality. He fought a salmon for what must have seemed like hours, and finally reeled in a King Salmon weighing nearly 50 pounds! His son, Dennis remarked, "Old Slimey kept him busy for a good part of that morning. I think that was the most fun we ever had."
Harry loved traveling in his RV. His last road trip, in 1994, stretched from California to Texas, on to Independence, Missouri, then followed the original route of the Oregon Trail to its final destination on the Oregon coast, spending a total of 5 weeks on the road! His children and grand-children dropped in and out on various parts of the trip to share it with him.
Harry once recalled another of his happiest times as his 78th birthday party––a luau style celebration with family and friends. The party preceded his first trip to Hawaii, which became another of Harry's favorite destinations.
Harry lived by these simple and powerful words: "Don't start a fight." Being a peaceable and amiable man, Harry had broken up several fights in his lifetime, but never instigated or participated in one.
"Tell the truth" was another principle that he lived by. Harry Emery was a role-model citizen and a good neighbor, whose legacy will live on, not only on the backs of dozens of horses, but in the community that he loved and contributed to for over seven decades.
Harry passed from this life on October 8th, after an eleven-month stay at a nursing home in Marin County, where he was well cared for and loved by staff, fellow patients and regular visitors.
Harry was preceded in death by his second son, "Bert" in 1947, his wife, Carrie, in 1990, and his grandson, Erick, in September of this year. He leaves behind six of his children, Harry W. Emery and spouse, Lorraine, of San Francisco; Roberta Babcock and spouse, Douglass, of Beaverton, Ore.; Dennis Emery, of Fort Worth,Texas; Joanne Emery and partner, Erik Knight, of Rohnert Park; Cherie Emery-Klein and spouse, Corey, of Fairfax; and Rick Emery and spouse, Breeze, of Bedford,Texas.
Harry had 13 grand-children: Amelia (Millie) Emery, of Albuquerque, N. M.;the late Erick W. Emery, Carrie Wilson, of Alameda; Ericka Illona Williamson and husband, Larry Williamson of Albuquerque, N.M., Harry Wardell Emery of Jamestown, Paul Kalargiros and Emmanuel (Mano) Kalargiros of Santa Rosa; Ryan Emery and Julia Emery of Fort Worth, Texas; Allie Klein and Corina Klein of Fairfax; Dean Emery and Kolby Emery of Bedford, Texas. In addition, Harry will be missed by seven great-grand children: Cole Hardy and Colleen Hardy of Albuquerque, N.M.; Jessica Wilson and David Wilson of Corona; Colton James Emery and Harry Wardell Emery, Jr., of Santa Fe, N.M., and Mia Luna Batcheldor of Calistoga; and two great-great-grand children:Leanna Vega of Corona; and Desiree Sanchez of Albuquerque, N.M.
Created by: Geraldine "Gerry" Hume...
Record added: Nov 21, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23024569