Franklin “Frank” William Emerick, age 86, was born Jan. 5, 1936, in the house where he grew up on Northeast Cedar Creek Road in North Clark County. He left us peacefully on June 28, 2022, after working on the family farm where he lived the majority of his life. He is survived by Roberta May (Ferguson) Emerick, his loving wife of 66 years. His parents were Claude Sylvanus Emerick (1910-1988) and Goldie Ester (Cox) Emerick (1913-1988). He is survived by his children Leslie Karen Emerick (husband Dennis Bloom with his sons Dylan and Ben); Curtis Alan Emerick (wife Gracie Campos with her daughter Emma); grandchildren Chad Allen Emerick (wife Katie) and great-grandchildren Oliver and Esther; Chelsey Ann (Emerick) Martin (husband Dustin) and great-grandchildren Mavric and Hendric; and Ruby Jane (Baker) Riibe (husband Dustin). Preceding him in death was his sister Estella May (Emerick) Sawyer (1931-1986) and her husband Burke (1932-2016). Uncle Frank’s extended family include niece Jenny (Sawyer) Tingley (husband Jerry); grandnieces Karli Pittman (husband Michael), son Jett, Katelin Harteloo and Haley Medina (husband Mario), children Cruz, Cyrus, Lola and Audra; nephews Stan Sawyer (wife Cindy); grandnieces Kathryn Harris (husband Dustin), and children Travin, Brodin and Joselyn, and Emma Sawyer; Barry Sawyer (wife Wendy); grandniece Estella Myers (husband Andrew) and sons Mason and Burkley; and grandnephew Kenny Burke Sawyer.
Frank attended Green Mountain School and graduated from La Center High as part of the Class of ’54. After graduation, he took automotive and welding classes at Clark College and logged two seasons for Harbor Plywood. Frank first joined the Marine Corps Reserve then transferred to the U.S. Air Force. On Aug. 16, 1956, while on leave to attend his sister’s wedding (Aug. 10), he married his high school sweetheart, Roberta. Part of their courtship was to learn to skate as her parents owned and operated the La Center Roller Rink. Their two children were born at Fairchild AFB near Spokane. He was deployed in 1958 to Guam at Andersen Air Force Base as a weather observer and worked in the early typhoon warning center. He was joined by his family after Curtis reached 6 months of age. He thoroughly enjoyed being a member of a diver’s group, spearfishing and shell collecting. He refurbished a quonset hut for their home and sold his daily “catch” to supplement his income. They returned stateside to the family property after his honorable discharge in 1960. Frank later added two additions to an existing cabin built for his grandparents which served as the family home until his passing. His first job after returning home was with International Paper as a mail carrier. With earlier survey experience working for Pettijohn Engineering, he joined the U.S. Forest Service as an engineer, locating, surveying, designing, costing, preparing contracts and inspecting roads. He served as district engineer in the Canyon Creek Ranger District for nine years. When Mount St. Helens blew in 1980, he returned to the Monument and retired in 1991 after 31 years.
Frank was an active member of the North Clark Lions Club for 50 years. Frank and Roberta joined the Timber Toppers Square Dance Club and worked to renovate the old Tum Tum Log Cabin on Chelatchie Prairie for the group that was active for over 10 years. After retirement, Frank and Roberta (a primary school teacher in Amboy and Yacolt from 1973 to 1993), worked on the restoration of the 1910 United Brethren Church in Amboy which became the North Clark Historical Museum. They are charter members of the museum and were active in all phases of the restoration and development for over 25 years. Frank served as the president of the board from 1990 to 1991. As building chairman and project manager, he sawed several beams for the old church renovation project. He designed and sawed the lumber for a museum barn to house horse-drawn equipment, implements and a blacksmith shop. Frank purchased the adjoining Wise shop and house and renovated it to become a rental. The museum later purchased the property for future development.
Frank was a member of the Volcano A’s with a coupe and Tudor he restored. He entered nearly every Amboy Territorial Days parade since 1961 with either a square dance float or representing the museum and finally his two 1930 Model As. He spent many hours on the family tree farm and was a member of Farm Forestry and NARFE. Frank, along with family and friends, built a “clam cabin” at Ocean Park. When the tides were right, he was on the beach until the sun went down.
A burial will be held at Mt. View Cemetery, NE 119th Ave., La Center, Washington at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2022. A celebration of life will follow at the Emerick property on Northeast Emerick Road. Bring potluck dishes and chairs.
Memorial donations to the NCH Museum, P.O. Box 296, Amboy, Washington, 98601 are appreciated. Arrangements are under the care of Layne’s Funeral Home, Battle Ground, Washington.