Douglas J. Emery
November 21, 1943 – February 9, 2020
Douglas John Emery, 76, passed away on Sunday, February 9, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Born on November 21, 1943 to John Henry and Nona Marie (Bliss) Emery, Doug spent much of his early life in the Lansing area. He graduated from Eastern High School and attended Michigan State University where he graduated with a degree in geography in 1965 - a passion he would nurture for life.
Following his graduation from MSU, Doug enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving in Korea. His service created a passion for travel with trips all over the world continuing throughout his life. Upon his return from the military, Doug began a long career as an insurance agent for Gadaleto, Ramsby, and Associates.
Doug was a lifelong learner - he loved history, music, audiobooks, the History Channel, Senior Classes at MSU - anything that allowed him to grow in knowledge and understanding. He especially liked Civil War history. He even trained as a docent at the Potter Park Zoo, sharing his wealth of knowledge with generations of zoo-goers.
Doug was family oriented and detail oriented, two traits that made him the perfect family social director. He managed the calendar, the planning, and the execution of many family events, from Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations to summer picnics and monthly cousin gatherings.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents.
He will be lovingly remembered by his siblings, Richard (Yolanda) Emery, Marilyn (the late Grant) Luther, David Emery, and Marlene (Zachary) Zeman; his special cousins, nieces, and nephews; and several lifelong friends.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 12pm, with visitation from 11am to 12pm, at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes East Chapel, 1730 E. Grand River Ave., in East Lansing. Luncheon immediately following at Jimmy’s Pub, 16830 Chandler Rd, East Lansing. Interment will take place in Fort Custer National Cemetery at a later date.
Doug specifically asked that no flowers be sent to his services, but that donations be made in his memory to a fund for a memorial bench at Potter Park Zoological Society (1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing, MI 48910) for the next generation of learners and explorers. Please include Doug's name in the memo of any donation to ensure that his bench becomes a reality.
- Potter Park Zoological Society
- Visitation Saturday, February 15, 2020
- Funeral Service Saturday, February 15, 2020
Douglas J. Emery
February 17, 2020
Such a wonderful person and a joy to get to know. I got to know Doug as a patient at dialysis. I admired his spirit for life and how much he enjoyed and made the best of things. I admired his knowledge and sense of humor. I will miss seeing him; he often made my day. Prayers for family and friends.
February 15, 2020
My heart is breaking. Another hole is carved in my heart from the loss of so many important people in my life. My mom, dad, grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, cousins , friends and now one of my brothers. We were 5 , now we are 4.
Doug we will miss FaceTiming you 3 or more times a week. You were always up for any adventure, you loved museums, historic places and cars. You were my ticket to adventure and my escape from work to bum around Wisconsin visiting interesting places and Zoos.
Your favorite ice cream drive-in, Gillies open for the season the day you left us. No more late night runs to get you a sundae when you came to visit. No more museums, trips to the Zoo- my favorite was our child hood park, Potter Park Zoo.
You were a dog lover. Our family dogs were instantly smitten by you, except Brandy. You had to bribe her with M&M’s. Your lap will not be available for my dogs to lounge on the whole time you were at our house. Oliver will miss you. Easter will never be the same. Even Jenny wondered if you were going to come for Easter. Trips to Michigan will never be the same. I wanted you to show me the cottages we stayed at as little kids at Higgins Lake. That will not happen now. No more singing Happy Birthday messages. We all looked forward to them. I don’t know what the weather was like the day you were born, but today you departed in a snowstorm. We will forever miss you!!! 💔💔💔💔💔
February 13, 2020
Little did we know that we had met a food gourmet when we met Doug. Our task was to drive him to and from dialysis in those early days... We discovered that he liked taking us to his favorite places including St. James' Parish Fish Dinners during Lent, Steak dinners at Darrell's in Mason, lunch at Crossroads in Leslie and the new Klavon's in Mason......We did get exposed to Mt. Dew with four olives, his favorite Bacon Cheeseburger, Pizza/bacon bread sticks at Klavon's, and Presbyterian Pie at Darrell's Steak Dinners.
He had favorite stories to tell about all of the new babies in his family with my adding...."those babies sure have big hands". It must have been a family trait..........We also heard many stories of his travels around the world and his adventures at Potter Park Zoo.
Although we had almost 10 years being a driver and friend to Doug, we would have liked many more years.........There were four of us that can say we were his drivers, Michael Felgenhauer, me, and two backup drivers--Larry Hill and Don Vickers.
We are thankful to Jon Jenkins for his role in selecting us
to be Doug's drivers...Someday we will all meet up again !!
February 11, 2020
Uncle Doug made it a point to be a presence in all of our lives whether it big or little. Always up for entertaining people and experiencing life. Not letting much stop him. There were several trips halfway to Wisconsin where Tanner and I (and sometimes others along) would ride with him and “drop him off” at McDonald’s to Aunt Marlene as if he were a teenager meeting friends at the mall and we’d be back a week later to pick him up. Those were eventful trips when he drove always going through downtown Chicago and letting “words” slip out at other drivers who wouldn’t move over or drove too fast. The last chance I got to see Uncle Doug in the hospital he was happy to see me but wanted to see Oakley more because he asked me where he was. Stacey snuck Oakley down to his room and I could see him light up at seeing the youngest member of our family. I wish Oakley could have all the memories and fun times with Uncle Doug that I have/had. I’ll bring you some peanut M&M’s as that was your last request to me. We love you and you will be greatly missed. I’m sure you and my dad are giving everyone your thoughts up there ❤️
February 11, 2020
When you think of the Emery family you will find that Uncle Doug is and will forever be "that" uncle. He was the uncle who ordered his pop with double olives , the uncle who "locked" us kids in the nursery cages at Christmas gatherings and the uncle who would only give you a drop of milk at dinner if you asked for a "little more". He volunteered to drive my sister and I to visit our Aunt and to this day I don't think he knew what he was up against with us in the car (we got a little antsy and argued). He took us to sporting events and the theater, showed up at our important events and always wanted to know what we were up to. Uncle Doug was always there as we grew up and then he became just as important to all of our kiddos.
Recently, even in the hospital as we visited, he kept up his jokes and teasing to his nursing staff and doctors. Uncle Doug had a huge aversion to onions and cucumbers and specifically requested a hamburger and milkshake for lunch since the hospital would was "Yuck", his nurse just told him it was all there in the bag as he was getting fed through a feeding tube. We teased that they added extra onions and cucumbers just for him and got rewarded with a dirty look.
We will definitely miss Uncle Doug and having to watch to make sure he didn't steal an olive off our plate while we weren't looking. Love you!❤
February 11, 2020
We lost an amazing uncle. Well traveled, wise, funny, and up for an adventure is how I will always remember him. He was a funcle way before it was cool and trendy . We will miss seeing him at Easter, the summer picnic and the random FaceTime chats. I will cherish all the fun memories of his Michigan adventures. As heartbreaking as it is, it’s comforting to know he is finally pain free. I’m grateful Olivia got a chance to meet him. I only wish she had more time with him. Love and miss you Uncle Doug. 😢
February 10, 2020
Heaven gained one of the best. Uncle Doug (aka Unkie Dunkie, Uncle Gug) was a true funcle and who lived life to the fullest. He was a family man who would do anything to help others and was the glue that held everyone together. He had a passion for traveling and always encouraged us to experience new things and go different places. He enjoyed joking with people and I will never forget how flustered he would make people when he would ask if they accepted federal reserve notes as a form of payment. I will miss our visits, video chats, reading all of his hilarious comments on Facebook and so much more. Ethan was very fond of his Great Uncle Gug and shared his interest in cars and trains. Ethan would get so excited to put on a dance performance... always to the tune of shiny from Moana, for him during our video chats! We will love and miss you forever Uncle Doug.