MORTON - Robert E. Emmert, 75, of 365 S. Mississippi Ave., Morton, died at 4:40 p.m. Friday (Dec. 16, 2005) at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
He was born Nov. 15, 1930, in Ferris to Richard Lowell and Lola Dietrich Emmert. He married Joyce Glay on Sept. 9, 1953, in Mendon. Surviving are his wife, Joyce Emmert of Morton; one daughter, Kristen (Bill) Shaner of Morton; three brothers, Richard (Betty) Emmert of Mendon, James (Yuki) Emmert of Mascoutah and John (Sandra) Emmert of Argenta; one sister, Barbara (Junior) Homan of Richland, Mo.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He graduated from Mendon Township High School in 1948. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in January of 1950 and was selected to attend pilot training as an aviation cadet in 1953. He graduated with Pilot Training Class 53E in Greenville, Miss. He went on to become a B36 pilot in the Strategic Air Command and also served as a nuclear weapons officer. He attained the rank of major.
After leaving the Air Force, he attended Bradley University and graduated in 1960 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, he went to work full time at Caterpillar Inc., where he was in service training. He then joined Service Engineering GO, specializing in track loaders until the introduction of the D10 track-type tractor, when he became responsible for large track-type tractors and pipe layers. He retired in 1993. During his 33 years at Caterpillar, he traveled throughout the world and worked extensively with the Siberian pipeline. He was a lifetime member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Peoria, the Mohammed Shriners, Mendon Lodge 449 of Ursa and Morton Lodge 352.
He was elevated to 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1981 and was past most wise master of Peoria Chapter Rose Croix. He was a charter member of the Legion of Honor and a member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Peoria Court 40.
He was the chairman of the Scottish Rite Foundation Hall of Fame Program. He also was a member of the Illinois Scottish Rite Scholarship Fund board of directors.
He was a lifetime member of the Military Officers Association of America. He was a member of the Air Force Association; the American Legion; Friend of the U.S. Air Force Museum Foundation; and the Stearman Restoration; Experimental Aircraft; and National Rifle and Illinois State Rifle associations. He was a founding member of The American Air Museum in Britain. He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association and was a former past president of Peoria Chapter 33 and at the time of his death was serving on the Board of Directors of the Central Illinois Chapter. The loves of his life were God, family, country, airplanes and yellow paint.
His service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home in Morton with the Rev. Gary Salm officiating. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today, and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, both at the funeral home. A graveside service will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Home Cemetery in Fowler, where a military service will be conducted. The Rev. Marcy Heil will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Scottish Rite Foundation, 400 N.E. Perry Ave., Peoria, IL 61603, or to the Home Cemetery Association, in care of Norman Wittler, 1710 E. 1316th St., Fowler, IL 62338.