Joseph “Joe” Emmett, originally of the Calvin-Sarles area, passed away peacefully at the age of 90 in his home in Auburn, WA on Friday, September 21, 2018.
He was born November 19, 1927 in Calvin, ND, the fifth of six children of Raymond and Lenora Emmett who last farmed northwest of Sarles, ND.
During the summer of 1943, following his high school graduation, Joe met his wife of 64 years, Anna Mae Formo, while working on her parent’s, Alfred and Irene Formo’s farm seven miles west of Hannah, ND. They married 2 years later, on November 20, 1945.
Joe “retired” from farming, the first of many “retirements,” when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1947. He served 8 years as an Avionics Technician before receiving an officer’s commission in 1955, after which he trained as a Naval Aviator, earning his “wings” in 1957. He flew Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft for the remainder of his highly praised and distinguished 21 ½ year military career from which he retired as a Lieutenant Commander in August 1967.
Joe then embarked on a 10-year career as a Commercial Airlines Pilot in the Southern California area until retiring and moving to Seattle, WA in 1977. During this time, he and his wife also purchased Barney Olson’s business in Langdon, ND which their sons Terry and Tim managed until it was sold several years later.
In April 1978 he and his wife purchased a business in Kent, WA which they, along with family members, operated for 30 years until it was sold in 2008, marking his “final retirement.” At this time, Joe and his wife resided in Grand Coulee, WA. After the passing of his wife in October 2009. Joe moved in August 2013, to a 55+ community in which his eldest son resided in Auburn, WA, his place of residence when he died.
His life long friend, Jim Sparks of Calvin, ND visited Joe in December 2017 and liked the community so much he himself bought a home four houses down from Joe, where he resides to this day.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Charles “Bud” Emmett and sisters Nell Hart, Dorothy Schwartz and Molly Blair.
He is survived by his sister, Mary LaVelle of Fargo, ND, sons Terryl of Auburn, WA, Timothy of Coeur d’Alene, ID and Jeffrey of Leavenworth, WA and daughters Joi Sjoquist of Kent, WA and Stephanie Emmett of Post Falls, ID as well as a host of Grand, Great-Grand and Great-Great-Grandchildren and many, many nieces and nephews.
While never again a North Dakota resident after joining the Navy, his heart remained there. He so dearly loved the land and its people, especially his great friends and extended family members Jerry and “Bev” Domres and Gayle Hart of Langdon/Wales, ND. He came for visits dozens of times over the years, most recently in late July of this year, driving all the way from Seattle and back with his friend Jim at his side.
His memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 11th at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. His urn will then placed next to his wife’s in their columbarium there.