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Funeral services will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 10:00 AM (Mountain).

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Philip, South Dakota

Masonic Cemetery
Philip, South Dakota
4-6 p.m. Friday, February 21, 2020
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Philip, South Dakota
Rosary Service at 6 p.m.

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In memory of

Keith Emerson

of Philip, South Dakota, died on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at the Mary House in Pierre at the age of 97

Keith Albert Emerson was born on August 10, 1922, to Roy and Gertrude (Thomas) Emerson on the family ranch 32 miles northeast of Philip. He started school in Philip and was home schooled for two years before attending country school in the 7th and 8th grade. Keith then attended Philip High School, graduating in 1939. Keith attended South Dakota State College before joining the Navy in July of 1943. After training he was assigned duty aboard the new destroyer-minelayer J. William Ditter, DM31. The “Ditter” was on radar picket duty off Okinawa on June 6, 1945 when a Japanese kamikaze crashed into the port side near the main deck. She was towed into Kerama Retto where temporary repairs were made and arrived back in New York for rebuild on July 12, 1945. He was assigned duty on the destroyer DD882, USS, went back to the Pacific and was discharged in March 1946.

Keith was united in marriage to Lucille Parsley on September 16, 1947, in Brookings, South Dakota. They made their home on the Emerson ranch. Keith worked many years as a surveyor in Haakon County, and did surveying for the soil conservation. In 1979 Keith and Lucille bought the Haakon County Abstract and Title Company, and in 1982 they leased the ranch and moved near Lake Waggoner. Keith owned and operated the Abstract Company for 19 and 1/2 years. In January of 1999 Keith sold the company to Sandy Heaton.

Keith was a member of the Haakon County Conservation District, the Haakon County School Board, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, Range Man of the Year for 1981, a lifetime member of the VFW, and a member of the Wheeler Brooks American Legion Post #173. He was also inducted into the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts Endowment Fund President’s Club. Keith was also a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, and St. John’s Catholic Church in Fort Pierre.

Grateful for having shared his life are his two sons: Greg (Kathy) Emerson of Powell, Wyoming, and Mark (Terry) Emerson of Pierre; a daughter Debbie (Duane) Fitzgerald of Pierre; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Keith was preceded in death by his wife Lucille on September 7, 2017; a daughter Ann Reinsch in 2004; a great-granddaughter Katelyn Oberg; and his parents.

Visitation will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, February 21, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, with a rosary service at 6 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 22, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip with Father Gary Oreshoski as celebrant.

Interment will follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.

A memorial has been established to Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Friday, February 21, 2020 - 4-6 p.m.
Rosary service at 6 p.m.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Philip, South Dakota

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Philip, South Dakota

Father Gary Oreshoski assisted by Deacon Lloyd Frein

Marianne Frein - Pianist
Maureen Palecek - Vocalist
“I am the Bread of Life” #327 “Softly and Tenderly” #647
“Precious Lord Take My Hand” #677
“O Loving God” #674 “Lead Me Lord” #726

Dallas Fitzgerald - Dan Fitzgerald

Mary Lou Guptill

Mike Gebes

Kay Ainslie

Dawn Fitzgerald - Kristi (Reinsch) Godown - Steven Reinsch
Matt Emerson - Cynthia (Reinsch) Pierce - Adam Emerson

All Relatives and Friends in Attendance

Masonic Cemetery
Philip, South Dakota

  • My Dad Bob, who has passed away, was a lifelong friend, and would often visit when back to Philip. Both lived full lives and were a credit to Philip and Grindstone. ~ Robert D. Son of Robert E Fennell Boca Raton Florida (2/25/2020)
  • We always enjoyed visiting with Keith and Lucille. They were interesting and knowledgeable on many subjects. There was always a spark of fire when we mentioned wood floors to Keith, but to this day, his labor and hardwood floors are enjoyed by Cantrells and the rest of the family. God be with all of you during this difficult time. ~ Justin and Joyce Wheeler Philip, SD (2/21/2020)
  • I'm so sorry to hear of Keith's passing. He was a good man and I will remember him fondly. My sympathies to you all. ~ Karen Hanson Rapid City SD (2/21/2020)
  • Thinking of all you folks during this time, but we all know that he is in a better place. We have many memories of him, through the Legion and all the dancing. Hold on to all the memories. ~ Les & Joann Pearson Philip, SD (2/20/2020)
  • Sorry to hear about your Dad. I know it is hard to lose them not matter how old you are. I can still see the Milesville church on Sundays ( in my mind) and your Dad playing that old, old organ upstairs. Good memories!! Keep your memories close! May God Bless you all! ~ Nancy (Pekron) Ehrhardt Brandon SD (2/20/2020)
  • Our deepest sympathy to the Family. God Bless. ~ Ralph & Cathy Fiedler Sturgis, SD (2/20/2020)
  • Our prayers are with the Emerson family ~ pat & carla quinn Centennial CO (2/19/2020)
  • I am so sorry for your loss. Keith taught me so much when I worked for him. He was a serious guy but he could have fun too, and we did. I will never forget this time of my life. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care. ~ Kathy Arthur Philip (2/19/2020)
  • Sorry about Keith, but know that he is with the Lord and Lucille again. The Emersons were very good neighbors to my Mom Gertie Kopp while she lived next door in the Manor. Also Keith was a great guy at Church helping with the teenagers. good friends to us all.
    ~ Janice Crowser Philip & Corpus Christi Tx (2/19/2020)
  • Both Keith and Lucille were wonderful people. May their souls RIP. ~ Fr. Tony Grossenburg Wall (2/19/2020)