Mrs. Elise Margaret Shirley Aemmer

June 20, 1925August 20, 2010

Mrs. Margaret "Elise" Aemmer was a modest woman, quiet and observant in her ways. She was trustworthy and traditional in her approach to her life and in her relationships. She was tough-minded with the kind of “stick to it” attitude that earned the respect of all who knew her. She was also a woman who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything she undertook. Realistic about life, she was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.

She was the daughter of Curtis and Selene Shirley and named after her grandmother, Margaret and Elise was named after a distant cousin in Texas. Elise was the oldest of the seven children, one sister, Jean and five brothers, Rob, Ray, Jerry, Alvin and Kent. They grew up on their family farm in Floyds Knobs, Indiana that was located where the Valley View Golf Course is now. Elise was usually involved in all sorts of activities with her siblings. She and her siblings experienced rivalries typical of a growing family, but they shared many life experiences over the years. As a young girl, Elise had a number of responsibilities. One of which was to ride the horse to get the cows in from the field. The family had a large strawberry farm and Elise and the other children helped to hoe the fields and pick the strawberries to be taken to the co-op in Floyds Knobs. However, to Elise, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with her friends. In her spare time she liked to play baseball with her siblings and friends. She said they always had a baseball game going in the field. When they could not play outside, they played checkers inside. Elise's most vivid memory as a child was a cow chasing their billy goat and her brother was chasing after them. The billy goat turned around and struck her brother in his eyelid with its horn. No one was around with a car so they ran to the neighbor that was about a half mile away and the neighbor took him to the hospital. Thankfully, his eye was not hurt.

Elise had fond memories of her school days. She went to school in a two-room school house located in Floyds Knobs at the old brick building on Scottsville Road across from where the Berry Twist is today. First through Fourth grades were in one room and Fifth through Eighth were in the other room. There were eleven people in her eighth grade class. A typical teenager, Elise had a fairly happy school experience, making that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. She graduated from New Albany High School in 1943. Always considered a “good” friend to those she knew, Elise enjoyed a broad group of acquaintances and several very close friends during her lifetime. While growing up, some of her best friends were Norma Lee (Miller) Best, Pauline (Miller) Roehm and Norman Lee Miller and they remained life-long friends. One of her best friends was her sister Jean. They were not only close in age, they were close friends growing up sharing friends and fun. Many times they would walk to the Jitney to meet up with their friends. Elise spoke of many memorable times at the Jitney. The Jitney (which means the nickel) was a popular hang out with a juke box and food. Elise bragged on their fish sandwich saying there was none like it. In December, 1945 Elise was at the Jitney and met Fred Aemmer. He asked her to marry him that day and she said yes the same day! Two years later they were married and shared a love that lasted for over 60 years. Elise worked hard to be a good mother to her children and she did her best to fulfill their needs. Elise was blessed with four children, one son, Fred, Jr and three daughters, Janet, Sharon and Sandy. The children all have fond memories of sleigh riding in the snow down the road and Christmas time when their dad would take them to his mother's house while Elise stayed behind. When they returned home, Santa had visited and left the presents. Holidays were always special at the Aemmer house and a gathering place for friends and family. Another blessing for Margaret was the gift of ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Victor, Maggie, Liza, Bradley, Virgil, Brent, Lisa, Brian, Julie, Missy, Seth, Rachel, Brandy, Megan, Jenna, Nick, Tessa and Scott. All of which have fond memories of the Christmas Eve parties at Grandmas, Easter Egg hunts in the yard, and Halloween parties with Grandma and Grandpa.

Fortunately, Elise enjoyed what she did for a living. Showing a strong work ethic, Elise worked diligently and did her best to succeed in her career. Growing up she wanted to learn how to type and her ambition was to work in an office. She accomplished both and was employed for 35 years at Silver Fleet Mason Dixon. Elise always sought to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done. This earned her the respect of her co-workers some of which she kept in touch more than 25 years after her retirement. Elise enjoyed her leisure time by gardening and shopping. She was content to enjoy her favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share her interests with others. She enjoyed the vacations she and Fred took. It was a chance to visit new places and experience new things. Favorite vacations included the trip they took with Virgil and Lorine to North Dakota and the trips they took to Florida to visit Fred's sister Rose and her husband Fritz.

When Elise's retirement finally arrived in 1983, she was well prepared. In retirement, she found new pleasure in her passion, gardening and spending time with Fred. She would also take trips with Toby Tours with her friends, Margaret and Dorothy. Even in retirement, Elise continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. Elise was active in her new community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered her. Throughout her life, Elise was a doer and in her later years became actively involved an active member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She and Fred made many friends at the American Legion, some of which she accepted in as part of the family. Simply stated, Elise was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by her family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Elise leaves behind her a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life she touched will always remember Mrs. Margaret "Elise" Aemmer.

Obituary: Margaret “Elise” Shirley Aemmer, 85, of Floyd Knobs was born June 20, 1925 to Curtis and Selene Shirley. A native of Floyd Knobs, Elise graduated from New Albany High School in 1943 and retired from Silver Fleet Mason Dixon in 1983 after 35 years of service. She was a member of St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church and the American Legion Post 42 Ladies Auxiliary. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years , Frederick James Aemmer, Sr., and her parents Curtis and Selene Shirley.

Survivors include: Children: Janet Davis (Scott) Sharon Peay (Virgil, II) Sandy Whalen (Tom) Fred Aemmer, Jr. (Julie) Grandchildren: Missy Michal (Ed) Julie Striegel (Rob) Brian Cook (Angie) Lisa Barker (Todd) Brent Cook (Becky) Virgil Peay III (Dawn) Bradley Peay Liza Whalen Maggie Whalen Victor Aemmer Great Grandchildren: Scott Striegel, Tessa Barker, Nicolas Michal, Jenna Cook, Megan Cook, Brandi Striegel, Rachel Cook and Seth Cook Sister: Mary Jean Loftus Brothers: Rob Shirley (Joan) Ray Shirley (Martha) Jerry Shirley (Agnes) Alvin Shirley (Sharon) Kent Shirley (Linda)

Visitation will be from 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm Monday at Kraft Funeral Service, 708 E. Spring St., New Albany. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am Tuesday at St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church with burial to follow in St. Mary of the Knobs Cemetery. A prayer service will be held 6:00 pm Monday at the funeral home. The family has asked that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to St. Mary of the Knobs Church or the American Legion post 42 Ladies Auxiliary in Floyd Knobs.


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, August 24, 2010
  • Visitation Monday, August 23, 2010

Mrs. Elise Margaret Shirley Aemmer

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Victor Aemmer

May 4, 2011

Life is soo hard without you..its been almost a year.....i miss you and love you my birthday is coming soon wish you were here...I LOVEE U

Michelle Clark

September 3, 2010

You were great and kind person. I was so lucky to have gotten the chance to spend time with you, and get to know you! I know you are in a much better place now! You are missed....

jayme draper

August 30, 2010

i know you and freddie are happy to be back together and we will miss you dearly tell mom and dad i said hi and i am sure you are smiling and watching over us all love jayme

Angela Cook

August 29, 2010


Your funeral ended with the great grandchildren blowing bubbles in the grass. There was peace in it, as I could hear your laughter. I will never look at bubbles the same for having known you. Each one will have it's place and have meaning. I love you and miss you dearly, but I know that you and grandpa are watching down on us together the way you should be. Both of you will always be in my heart.


Linda Aemmer

August 29, 2010

Aunt Elise, I know you are dancing in Heaven with Uncle Freddie. What a wonderful caring Lady you were while here on earth. You are home now. Love Linda

Julie Aemmer

August 28, 2010

1 Cor. 13: Love is patient; Love is Kind; It does not envy; It does not boast; It is not proud; It is not rude; It is not Self Seeking; It is not easily angered; It keeps no record of wrongs; Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres; Love Never Fails.

If you are like me, you've probably heard or read those verses many times and not thought much about it but a while back I was reading this passage and I made a note in my journal that reads "WOW! Does that describe Elise & Fred's love, or what?" I made that note long before I knew that Fred proposed to Elise the first day they met and she said yes that same day. My WOW! With one exclamation point turned into a WOWEE!!! With multiple exclamation points.

Recently I've been helping with a ladies workshop at my church on the way we show our love and how others feel loved by us. The premise is that there are 5 Languages in which we speak love to others. Quality Time, which is one of the languages, happens to be one of my stronger love languages, that is why these past several months when Fred would stay to care for his mom, I insisted we stay there as a family. All three of us would pack our stuff and go down there to stay. The saying that you never know someone until you live with them is true and I thankful for the opportunity we had to spend all that time with her. I was able to gain some insights on Elise's love and I would like to share those with you because I believe she had a lot of things about love figured out.

Gifts is one of the love languages and anyone who knew Elise knows that she loved to give and receive gifts. I believe this is to be one of her primary love languages and why she loved to shop so much. I don't think I ever went shopping with her when she didn't buy something for someone who was not there. She did not do it to gain anything for herself; she simply bought it to make the other person happy because Love is not self seeking.

Another love language is words of affirmation, words to encourage and lift up another person. Several of the great-grandchildren told me that they knew Grandma Aemmer loved them because she always smiled at them, had pet names for them or told them she loved them. She was always was interested in what they were doing whether it was sports, karate, gymnastics, racing or clogging. What a joy it is to have someone you love truly encourage you both verbally and non-verbally because Love rejoices in the truth.

A third love language is Acts of Services and there is no better example of this than the patience and kindness Elise showed for Fred in their later years as she became his caregiver because Love is patient, Love is kind and Love is not easily angered.

If you spent any time with Elise and Fred, you saw them holding hands or Fred giving Elise's knee a pat. Physical Touch is another of the love languages and Fred Sr. definitely expressed his love in a physical way. Although I don't think this was one of Elise's stronger love languages, you never saw her push his hand away. She was always there with an open hand to receive his protection, to show her trust, and to share her hope because Love always protects, always trusts and always hopes.

The final love language is quality time and I believe this to be another of Elise's primary love languages. I asked Victor the other day how he knew that Grandma loved him and he said "because she wanted to spend time with me" and that was true. Whenever we would stop by to visit or go over to stay with her if she didn't see Victor the first thing she would ask was "Where's Victor?" But it wasn't just him, she loved to spend time with everyone. No matter who stopped by to visit, she never failed to stop what she was doing to give them her undivided attention because Love is not rude.

If you ever had the opportunity to visit one-on-one with Elise or eat a meal Elise cooked for you or perhaps you received a gift, a hug or an encouraging word from her, then you received the greatest gift she could possibly give you... Her love. Elise's legacy for us is one of love. We all can learn from Elise to show love to one another in every form because Love always perseveres.

As we mourn the loss of such a loving person, we can allow God's love to consume us from the inside out to bring us comfort because God's Love Never Fails.

Janet & Scott Davis

August 26, 2010

We will miss you dearly. Watch over us and keep a place next to you for the Fred Aemmer tribe. We will keep you in our hearts forever and will strive to be as much like you as possible. Loving, caring, devoted to our spouse, remembering those who have gone before us fondly, celebrating the holidays with our children & grandchildren as you always did. You made our lives precious, fun-filled and loved us unconditionally. Look down on us and smile.