September 10, 2015
2:00 P.M., Monday, September 14, 2015
Family present 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
Our Silent City Cemetery
Liberty Evangelical Free Church
684 198th Avenue
Pella, IA 50219
July 12, 1922 - September 10, 2015
Keith Warren Emmert was born in the back room of a farmhouse – that had no plumbing or electricity - near Kilduff, Iowa on July 12, 1922. He was the only child of Theodore and Lillian Elscott Emmert and spent his childhood on the family farm and attending Sudlow and Spring Hill Country Schools. He graduated from Sully High School in 1938, at the age of 16, and then attended AIB in Des Moines. He had a strong passion for flight and earned his pilot license at Central College and put his skill to use for three years as a B25 flight instructor in the U.S. Army. After the war, he taught flight in the U.S. Air Force and it was during this time he decided to finish his education at Central College. It was also while there that Keith met and married Patricia Collins with whom he had four children. Keith graduated from Central College in 1949, with a degree in mathematics and signed a contract with the Pella School System to teach eighth grade math at Webster School. He later earned his Master's Degree in Math Education from Drake University. Over the course of 34 years, he served as a teacher and for a short time, principal of Webster School. He retired from the Pella school system as an 8th grade math and mechanical drawing teacher in 1984.
In 1950, when Keith was 28 years old, he contracted polio and lost the use of his left leg. In the summer of 1952, he travelled to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia for therapy and rehabilitation and it was there that he greatly improved his ability to walk.
In 1971, Keith married Nola Monsma Vande Krol of Lynnville and Pella. They shared many happy years together, spending time with their combined families, making many road trips to all of the United States, touring many countries in Europe and cruising the Panama Canal.
Keith was an active member of Second Reformed Church in his younger years and at the time of his passing was a member of Evangelical Free Church in Pella. He was also a member of the Pella Jaycees, American Legion and Photography Club.
When Keith was 12 years old, he received his first piece of woodworking equipment, a lathe. Throughout his life, he engaged in woodworking as a hobby and constructed many items including furniture and toys for his grandchildren. He was also an avid photographer and processed his own pictures and took many slides of his family and travels. His diminishing eyesight in later years from macular degeneration cut short his ability to enjoy these hobbies, but it never diminished his capacity to enjoy life.
Keith was born with a happy disposition and despite the adversities in his life, he focused on something positive every day.
Keith loved music and played the piano "by ear" and the clarinet. He enjoyed playing cards with family and friends, and built and flew model airplanes. He had a great curiosity, sense of humor and ability to adapt. His wittiness and positive attitude were highly valued by family and friends alike.
Keith passed away at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House on September 10, 2015, at the age of 93. Keith believed and trusted in Jesus Christ and the Good News of eternal life made available by Jesus' sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Nola of The Cottages in Pella; his four children Jan (Rich) Yost of West Melbourne, FL, Jo (Joseph) Julian of Castle Rock, CO, Jeffrey (Susan) Emmert of Prescott, AZ and Jim (Karen) Emmert of Pella; three step-children Dorothy (Merlyn) Vander Leest of Pella, Jerry Vande Krol of Venice, FL, Judy (David) Minnick of Nevada, IA; step-daughter-in-law Joan (Claude) Vande Krol Zylstra; brother-in-law Gordon Monsma of Colorado Springs, CO; sister-in-law Shirley Monsma of Altoona, IA; grandchildren: Carrie, Katie, Drew, Doug, David, Anna, Jill, Luke, Hannah, Grace and Noah; step-grandchildren Mark, Lori, Craig, Dwayne, Terri, Sarah, Rachel and Molly; and a combined 32 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Ted and Lillian Emmert; his step-son Keith Vande Krol; his great-grandson Oliver Emmert; and his brother-in-law Dwight Monsma of Altoona.
Inurnment will occur at Our Silent City Cemetery in Kellogg, Iowa.
Memorials in his memory may be given to Liberty Evangelical Free Church.