He was a man of high moral character, who was deeply passionate about the environment, who had a great sense of humor (except when he was hungry or tired), and who fiercely loved his country and his family. On Sunday, October 17, 2021, our proud and sometimes misunderstood father, David D. Emery, loving husband, devoted father of two children, and grandfather of three grandchildren passed away at the age of 81 in the compassionate care of Everland Assisted Living, located in Queen Creek, Arizona.
David was born on May 31, 1940, in Muskegon, Michigan to Herbert and Helen (Sanderson) Emery. It was here where he discovered his love of water, whether it be in a rowboat, sailboat, or on his ice boat. His family moved to Texas in 1956 where he later graduated from the University of Texas in Austin. He served in the Navy and rose to a Commissioned Officer of the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO). While serving, he was awarded a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal, and a National Defense Service Medal. He went on to earn a master’s degree from American University in Business Administration and was later appointed by President Nixon in 1970 to lead the administrative efforts in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Denver, Colorado. He learned to fly small aircraft, enjoyed fishing, scuba diving, and hunting, but his main love was being a Skipper on his sea vessels [SV Sunbreak/MV Sunbreak], exploring and making memories on the waterways of the Pacific Coast of the United States, Mexico, and British Columbia, with his family and friends.
David was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Emery, his father, Herbert Emery, his uncles Ed and Cecil Emery, his aunts Ruth and Sylvia Sanderson, and his granddaughter Samantha Jane Emery. David is survived by his wife, Leslie (Sanguinetti) of Goodyear, Arizona; his son, Michael Emery (Tricia) of Queen Creek, Arizona; his daughter, Catherine Harling (Dave) of Lake Forest, Illinois; his grandchildren, Mikaela, Camille, and Connor; his sister, Barbara Wells (Bob); and many beloved cousins and nieces across the country. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Lorna (Bell) Emery.
We would also like to express our profound gratitude to Everland Assisted Living. The caregivers and partners of Everland Assisted Living were our angels in disguise when we needed them most. A private service will be held at a future date. Online condolences can be sent to www.santanmountainviewfuneralhome.com.