Michael Robert Emerson, beloved husband, father of four, grandfather of five and great-grand father of one, left this world during the evening hours of March 9, 2017.
Mike was born in Lewiston, ID to Donald and Rose Emerson. He had one sister, Patty (now deceased) and graduated from Clarkston High in Clarkston, WA in 1954 after earning a football scholarship to Oregon State University.
In 1955, Mike suspended his academic pursuits and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Much of his enlistment was spent over seas, primarily in Japan. He was honorably discharged in 1958 with the rank of sergeant. Upon his return to the states he resumed his academic career at the then Montana State University (now the University of Montana) where he had also earned a football scholarship. He played guard for the next three years as a Grizzly, and graduated in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in business/finance.
In 1962 Mike began working for Boeing, and in 1963 married the love of his life, Margaret Kathleen O’Reilly, originally from Butte, MT.
Working for Boeing in a time that has now been dubbed the “Space Race” afforded Mike the opportunity to witness and be involved in many exciting things. These included test launches of the newest and most advanced rockets of the time from Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California, to working on the Minute Man Missile Project. He even boarded two very special 737’s that would later bear the appellation of Air Force One. These jet aircraft would ultimately serve presidents Johnson, Carter, Nixon, Ford and Ronald Regan.
However, no amount of career success or excitement could ever quiet his love for the North West, and in 1971 Mike and Kay bought a Sears Catalogue franchise and moved to Polson, MT where they raised all four of their children. Despite the annual “snow bird” migrations to Sun City, AZ beginning in 2006, Mike was proud to be a Montanan, and always considered Polson to be his home.
Those who knew him, loved him, and those who love him miss him greatly.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Kathleen, and his four children Peg, Don, John and Matt, his five grandchildren, Cody, Jamie, Bobbi Jean, Ty and Casie Anne as well as his great grandson Oliver.
A private ceremony was held on Saturday March 18, 2017. He will be interred with honors at the National Cemetery in Helena, Montana in the spring.Print Obituary & Condolences