Obituary: Richard Robert Emerson, 72, of Shelby

May 7, 2024

Richard Emerson

Richard Robert Emerson, 72, of Shelby, passed away on Friday, May 3, 2024 after a courageous journey through ALS. He was born June 15, 1951, in Ypsilanti, the son of Justin and Marguerite (Znorski) Emerson.

On December 16, 1972, Richard married Merlinda (Mindy) Cooper and they spent 51 years together. They made their home in Lansing until retirement allowed them to move to their home on Lake Michigan near Shelby.

Rick graduated from Belleville High School in 1969 and attended James Madison Residential College at Michigan State University, graduating in 1973. He worked for the State of Michigan in the Social Security Disability Determination Service until his retirement in 2010.

Rick loved his time with family, traveling the world with Mindy, golfing, and attending Michigan State sporting events. He loved to sing, and lent his beautiful voice as a cantor and in the St. Gerard Adult Choir. Very civic minded, Rick spent countless hours volunteering in many capacities through his life, including Boy Scouts of America Scoutmaster, Habitat for Humanity, Community Volunteers for International Programs at MSU, and many volunteer groups that appreciated his expertise.

Rick is survived by his wife, Mindy Emerson; sons, Michael (Amber), Christopher (Heather); grandsons, Tyler, Ethan, Owen, Sebastian, and Felix; as well as siblings, Sam (Sue) Emerson, Patricia (Bob) Groeschner, and Bill (Mary Ann) Emerson; along with a large extended family.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Justin and Marguerite (Znorski) Emerson.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 10, at St. Gerard Catholic Church, 4437 West Willow Highway, Lansing with Father Robert Bacik presiding and Father Peter Omogo co-presiding. Visitation will held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass. A luncheon will follow the conclusion of Mass. While not required, individuals are encouraged to wear green and white apparel to the funeral.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider donating to the Susan Mast ALS Foundation of West Michigan – or The Samuel Omogo Foundation which provides clean drinking water to villages in Nigeria in Rick’s honor.

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, White Lake Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

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