September 16, 1922 – November 4, 2013
Emery Emmes passed quietly in his sleep at his home in Olga, attended by his Orcas family and grandson Craig Emmes.
He was born Daniel Rowan, but upon his mother’s remarriage, when he was four or five, his new stepfather adopted him, changing his name to a combination of old family names from both sides of this new family. Unfortunately, Louis Emmes died within a couple of years of this marriage.
He grew up in Southern California during the depression era. As the son of a single Mom who taught middle school, he spoke of fond memories of summers in Laguna Beach and the 15 foot sailboat he built and sailed along the local coast. During this period, his step brother, Samuel Hopkins Emmes, bought and started charting the 85 foot schooner, Rendezvous, with trips to Catalina and the other Channel Islands and Hawaii. Dad was the only crew. This was the beginning of a lifetime of sailing and boats.
Upon high school graduation, he entered USC as a pre-med student with the goal of being a medical doctor. WWII interrupted that plan with his joining the Army Air Corps (forerunner of the Air Force) as a flight line mechanic in Merced California where he served out the war repairing aircraft.
Upon mustering out, he eventually moved to Santa Barbara, entering the shop teaching program at what would become the University of California of Santa Barbara. Here he met the love of his life, Ina Mae (Scotty) Scott, an art and teaching major from Pasadena California who also had been a pre-med student before the war. That marriage lasted 60 years ending with her passing in 2007.
His first teaching job in 1950 paired him with a man born and raised on Madrona Point. After hearing so much about Orcas Island, he and Mom finally visited sometime in the early 60s. Fast forward through 30 years of teaching wood shop and other shop classes at Gardena High School (next door to Watts), raising two sons in Palos Verdes Estates and visiting Orcas several times; he and Mom bought the old Billy Moore place in Olga in 1967. Several years of remodeling the house in the summer months, lead to finally retiring here in 1976.
They (Mom and Dad were inseparable) joined the Episcopal Church in Eastsound and the Orcas Island Yacht Club. Dad joined the leadership ranks at OIYC, rising to Commodore in 1986. Together they worked on many potlucks, rummage sales and the rebuild and maintenance of the buildings for both organizations. Summers brought local sailboat racing and cruising from Olympia to Cape Caution, B.C.
Dad was a happy, energetic man, always ready to help a friend or lend a hand to a project. He was well-known for his morning walks to get the mail in Olga, waving to all who went by, chatting with folks along the way and stopping at the Artworks and Olga Café.
He considered Orcas to be paradise, so it’s hard to say where he’s off to now.
A memorial service and reception will be held at the Episcopal Church on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. Please come join us and share your stories of this wonderful man.