Zeller Chapel of the Roses

2107 NE Broadway ST, Portland, OR


Roberta Koster Emerson

August 13, 1928March 3, 2020

Loving wife, mother and grandmother, Bobbie passed peacefully in her sleep on March 3, 2020. She was 91. Born on August 13, 1928 to Arthur and Delfie Koster in Idaho Falls, ID. Bobbie lost her mother at the age of 8, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, so she filled in the domestic roles of taking care of her little brother and father at an early age. Her first step-mother, Leyla, was a teacher whom she loved, but passed quickly. Her second step mother, Katheryn, was also a teacher and a supportive Grandmother. Bobbie graduated from Whitman College, was a founding member of the Alpha Phi sorority and it’s first President. After college, she became a teacher in Portland, Oregon where she met and wed Robert Emerson in 1954. While teaching (Terwilliger, Sitton, Brooklyn and Abernathy), and raising a family, Bobbie was involved with several volunteer organizations including PEO, PTA, NW Chapter of 10th Mtn Division, and several neighborhood boards and architectural review committees. Where ever she was, she helped, volunteered, and made the world a better place. She valued her religion, enjoyed gardening and baseball, loved her friends, her students and the Oregon Coast, but put family above all else. She lived her life by the Golden Rule, always aware of other people, putting their needs equal to and often above her own. She is preceded in death by her younger brother, John Koster (Kentfield, CA); son-in-law, William Gray III, and husband Robert B. Emerson (both from Portland, OR). Survived by 4 children: Ann Emerson Gray , Bruce Koster Emerson (Kathy), Joan Emerson White (Timothy), Christopher Koster Emerson (Stacy), and 9 grandchildren – Mark, Liza, Melissa, Douglas, Halie, Robert, Hanna, Grace and Chuck. A private family interment will be in Willamette National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: “In memory of Bobbie Emerson” 322 8th Ave, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001 or online at: https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate


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Roberta Koster Emerson

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Charmaine Matson Lindsay

March 15, 2020

Bobbie and I were friends at Idaho Falls High School. She graduated one year before I did.
She was a role model for me..........I always admired her sense of self and of beauty.
So many memories, both of the high school years and later ones as well.
Traveling from Idaho Falls to Portland in the late summer one year when Bobbie was ready to begin her Portland teaching career, my husband was returning to teach at Lincoln High School, and I to resume my time at home with our then about eight month old son comes to mind. We had a hilarious time in our crowded car..shuffling the baby to keep him happy and adding to the limited space in the car when we stopped to buy a bushel of peaches which I would then preserve for the winter after returning to Portland. We laughed a lot on that trip!
Then, her marriage to Bob and each of us with growing families. We lost touch for most of those years and even later, but we did not lose our love for one another. The phone and occasional times together kept our friendship alive. And Christmas cards.
I could go on and on with so many memories of my beloved friend. Turned out that through elder-generation marriages, we were distantly related by marriage! Made me happy! Won't go into those details.
Sending love to your family...........all those who continue to love and remember her.
I had heard from a woman who lived at the Manor that Bobbie had died..........this was almost a year ago. I was shocked to read the obituary this morning in the Oregonian. I would have continued writing her..............
You are a very fortunate family to have had Bobbie with you for so many years!