BRUNSWICK — Harold E. Emerson, 73, died Nov. 21 in hospice care at Bodwell House surrounded by family and friends after a long, courageous battle with prostate cancer.
Born in Brunswick on Sept. 7, 1938 to Norman and Edith Emerson, he was the first of three sons in a family dedicated to public service. His father was a sheriff and his mother director of nurses and one of the founders of Regional Memorial Hospital.
After graduating high school in 1956, Emerson served in the U.S. Air Forces as an air traffic controller and enjoyed the time he spent in Japan on deployment. Following his military service, he secured a job with Union Mutual (now UNUM) in Portland where he worked as an analyst for 36 years before retiring in 1997. He loved the amount of traveling the career provided because he was able to see much of the country and meet new people.
Emerson found his passion infirefighting and served for over 41 years in the Brunswick Fire Department where he was still an active member. He proudly held the rank of Deputy Chief of the department’s call force and played an instrumental role in the design and construction of the Cook’s Corner Fire Station.
He was a strong man of faith and shared his life with the Brunswick United Methodist Church where he was an active member and served on numerous groups and committees over the years including the building committee for the present location of the church. He greatly enjoyed working on public baked bean suppers with his wife.
Not one to sit around, after retiring, Emerson immediately found work delivering flowers for Flowers, Etc. in Brunswick. It thrilled him to drive around the town he loved so much, serving his community by bringing smiles through flowers.
He loved to serve and found great reward through membership in the Grange and through his brotherhood with the Masonic Lodge. He belonged to the Order of DeMolay and continued on the be a 50-year member in United Lodge No. 8, F&A.M., where he was a past master and was serving as chaplain at the time of his death. He belonged to other fraternal orders including the Order of the Eastern Star as a past patron and member of Hawthorne Chapter, the Scottish Rite 32nd Degree, and Kora Shrine.
His family and friends will remember him as a loving, compassionate man with an incredible sense of humor, never missing an opportunity for a laugh or practical jokes. A people person to the end, Emerson would go out of his way to say hello and bring a smile to everyone’s face.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Patricia; daughter Susan Hensley and her husband Charles of Brunswick; sons Steven Emerson and his partner Bryan Murrell of San Diego, Calif., and Jeff Emerson and his wife Gina of West Bath; five grandchildren Zachary, Sam, Ben, Cody, and Shelby; brothers Robert Emerson and his wife Sharron of Brunswick, Arthur Emerson and his wife Jane of Denver, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the caregivers at Bodwell House who cared for Emerson and brought him so much comfort in his last days.
Visiting hours were held on Nov. 28 at Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick followed by a funeral service on Nov. 29 at the Brunswick United Methodist Church, Church Road, Brunswick. Donations can be made in Emerson’s name to the Brunswick United Methodist Church, 320 Church Road, Brunswick 04011.