Kenneth Ward Emery passed away Sunday, April 29, 2018 at the age of 73.
Ken was born March 19, 1945 in Pueblo, Colorado to Anthony Ward and Carolyn (Bachman) Emery. As he and his brother Douglas grew up, their father worked as a supervisor in a steel mill while their mother was a bookkeeper. Ken’s desire to be the very best started very young. As an infant, he was the youngest rodeo cowboy. As a young child, he won a yo-yo competition. As he grew, he became very involved in hunting. He hunted pretty much anything he saw, from deer to prairie dogs. He was an outdoor enthusiast who loved horseback riding through the mountains of Colorado while hunting. He mowed lawns and washed windows for extra money as a teen. While attending Central High School in Pueblo, Colorado, he joined the debate team. After graduating, Ken moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he received his bachelor’s degree from Case Institute of Technology (now known as Case Western Reserve). While there, he enjoyed being a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He went on to receive his Masters degree while attending a Manufacturing Management Program through General Electric.
Ken met the love of his life, Barbara Lynn Cummings through her ex-boyfriend. He introduced the two because he believed Ken was otherwise engaged. One date was all it took. The two were married in Lakewood, Ohio in a church wedding on August 27, 1966. In their nearly 52-year marriage, they were blessed with three children: Betsy, Becky, and Ben. They were the all-American couple who became Texans. His wife and children were very accustomed to Ken interrupting their dinner to explain something that came up in conversation. He would go to the white board they had in the kitchen and draw out the physics behind it. He was there for his children to continue to coach them through their lives. He reminded his daughter Becky to “Put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion.” He urged his daughter Betsy to “just do it,” and he cautioned his son Ben to “think before you speak.” When his grandkids came along, they became the light of his life. He was a very wise man who could be counted on to speak the truth. He reminded people to “wake up and die right.” Ken also was not afraid to speak his faith. He was a devout Christian who read the Bible cover to cover multiple times. He kept growing in his faith his entire life.
Ken’s quiet intelligence served him well in his career as an electrical engineer. He worked for 29 years for General Electric where he was a Lead Award recipient. During the course of his work there, he set up the first videoconference for Jack Welch- the C.E.O. of General Electric. He was a member of the G.E. Elfun Society. He later went on to be part of and retired from the Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M University. He was always very well respected for his integrity and was sought after as a business advisor. In his free time, he volunteered at the Dispute Resolution Center and at the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley. He was a “do-it-yourselfer” who enjoyed photography, watching movies, and reading. He liked taking walks, playing golf, and working in his vegetable and marigold gardens.
Ken leaves behind his wife Barbara, his daughter Elizabeth “Betsy” Emery and her boyfriend Aaron of Gloversville, New York, his daughter Rebecca “Becky” Emery Goessel and her husband Charles “Chuck” of Greenville, South Carolina, his son Benjamin “Ben” Emery and his fiancé Eileen of Bryan, his grandchildren Drew Goessel, Morgan Goessel, Gavin Emery and Ember Emery, and his black cat Sparky.
To honor Ken’s life, a Life Celebration will be held at 2 PM on Monday, May 7, 2018 at Hillier Funeral Home of College Station followed by a reception.