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Obituary: Emery, Bessie Mae

Age 92

EMERY, Bessie Mae (Sansom) (Age 92) After living 53 of her nearly 92 years in Spokane, Bessie Emery died peacefully at Rockwood Retirement Community South November 16, just three days before her birthday. Mom was born November 19, 1920, in Scottsbluff, NE. She earned a degree in Home Economics and Institutional Management at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1943 and then worked as a dietician in a hospital in New York City. After one week of work, Mom flew home to marry the love of her life, Max A. Emery. Dad was in the Army stationed in Alaska, so he went back, and Mom went back to work in New York. Eventually they had three children. In 1959 we all moved to Spokane. Mom went to Eastern Washington State College and earned her teaching certificate. She taught third grade for Spokane School District 81 for six years. In 1965 Mom became an elementary school counselor and received her Master’s Degree in Counseling. After two years she became a Junior High counselor at Saulk Middle School. At 70 years of age she became a Master Counselor. She retired three years later. Mom learned to play bridge in 1945 from Dee Dee, her mother-in-law, and continued to play every week with at least one group of friends until she was 88 years old. Dee Dee also brought Mom into PEO. She loved to entertain both of these groups of friends in her home. Another passion Mom had was gardening. Mom’s garden was one of seven gardens on display during the 17th Annual Yard and Garden Tour on August 4, 2002, and the first time the tour went to a retirement community. “We all have our thing. Some people travel. Some people shop. This is my thing.” All the family loved to gather at her home in Rockwood Forest Estates to enjoy her gardens, watch the various animals who visited in the gardens, and play baseball. Her family was very important to her! Mom hosted many large family gatherings with her beloved family. Mom’s three children and spouses are Diane and Doug Huigen, Debbie and Paul Dickerson, and John and Peggy Emery. She has seven grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. We will all miss her so much! We want to extend a special thank you to the nurses and aides at Rockwood South Atrium. You were wonderful to Mom! We also want to thank Hospice of Spokane for helping us through Mom’s last week. A memorial will be held Saturday, December 1 from 1-4 pm at Rockwood Community Center where Mom held many wonderful family gatherings. Anyone who knew and loved Mom and her family is welcome to join us in celebrating Bessie. The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Spokane or the PEO College Fund.