In memory of Roger Emmons
OUR POPS - Roger David Emmons left this world and joined the Angels above on May 4, 2006. He was a loving husband, father and “Pops.” Roger was exuberant about almost everything and had a true passion for life.
Roger and his wife, Carol, were high school sweethearts and were married for 36 years. They successfully raised two children, Rachael and Brad. They enjoyed spending time with friends, family, and traveling the world. Their relationship was one of a kind, filled with love and complete devotion to each other.
As a father, Roger was always there for his kids providing support in every endeavor. Roger had a unique experience that not many father’s can claim. He was best man at his son’s wedding. While most best mans get to roast the groom or talk about some feats of their younger days, Roger got to talk about how proud he was of his son and their special relationship which included daily calls, (sometimes multiple calls) to discuss anything and everything from the daily sports headlines to advice on how to get the most out of life.
At work, Roger was a leader and role model for others to follow. His business partner and many others have attributed the ultimate compliment to Roger by stating they are a better person today for having known and worked with Roger. His dogmatic work ethic, high moral standards, and communication skills made him a revered and successful businessman.
Roger was aware that something was not right before he was diagnosed with GBM in the early part of 2004. During Christmas of 2003, he insisted that his family get together for its first family portrait. He was very patient with his 13 month old granddaughter, Morgan, who at the time was the apple of his eye, while everyone else was frustrated and eager to get the entire process over. Today, we are all thankful to have that picture. It epitomizes the love he had for us all and brings back so many other memories.
One of the highlights of Roger’s life was his grandchildren. His first was born in November 2002 and he and Carol (whom he lovingly called, “Dollface”), flew to Florida to anxiously await the delivery in the waiting room. He wanted to be one of the first people to congratulate that son and to hold his first grandbaby. He showed himself to be one of those grandfathers that was willing to change a diaper, let the baby sleep on his chest (even though his arm had long fallen asleep) and get down on the floor to play a game or read a book. His second grandchild was born in April 2005 and has “Roger” as his middle name. His health kept his from making the trip to Florida for the birth but he was on the phone making calls and wanting to know all the details about the new arrival. Another highlight was the happiness that his daughter found with her new husband. Roger had the opportunity to come to know and respect him and was excited about the addition of his son as another grandchild.
Roger had his first craniotomy in the Spring of 2004 at Cleveland Clinic. As a sign of the love and respect his family had for him, his sister flew in from California, his daughter came from Columbus, Ohio and his son’s family flew in from Florida. His entire family had gathered to support him as his battle against GBM began. He was initially told that his prognosis was months, at best. He moved his treatment to the Brain Tumor Center at Duke and received various types of treatment, most of which his family new made him uncomfortable, but he didn’t complain and never gave up. He continued fighting until that fateful Wednesday afternoon when, surrounded by his Dollface and his sister, he joined the Angels above.
There is a story that was read to his grandchildren about waterbugs and dragonflies. The story compares us to waterbugs and that those that go above grow wings and become dragonflies. The dragonflies’ wings prevent them from joining us back in the water, so they patiently watch over the waterbugs and wait for them to become dragonflies. Roger is a dragonfly and is watching over all of us waterbugs.
The Okeechobee Dream Team was formed in Roger's honor, by his son, Brad. Members of the team include Roger's former business partners. He was an insurange agent/owner. The partners put Rogers's picture on a wall in their office, and are asking customers and friends of the agency to donate. Everyone donating gets an angel with their name put on the wall. There are currently at least 125 angels on the wall.