Obituary of Anne Emerson

Anne Weir Bickel Emerson, age 83, a resident of rural Fort Scott passed away on January 25, 2022.

She was born on August 25, 1938 to Katherine McCarthy and H. Rank Bickel, Jr. in Lebanon, PA where she lived with her older sister Elizabeth Kay until June, 1960. A graduate of Penn State University’s School of Journalism with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi national sorority, recipient of its Chapter Service Award and the winner of an interstate advertising competition.

In July, 1959, aboard the steamship SS Liberte’ on a return trip from Europe, she met her future husband Tim Emerson. They were married on March 30, 1963 in Philadelphia where they lived for a short time before moving to the New York City suburb, Rutherford, NJ.

Immediately following graduation in 1960, she joined the advertising staff of John Wanamaker department store, Philadelphia where she worked for one year, after which she became an assistant advertising director at Gimbel Brothers department store where she worked for two years until. moving to Rutherford, NJ, a New York City suburb.

In New York City, she created national advertising campaigns for JC Penney for three months before accepting a position of Assistant Creative Director of the fragrance and cosmetics firm Faberge’ Inc.

Her next employment was with the New Jersey advertising agency, Summit Advertising and sales promotion agency Adstaff, where she created advertising and national sales promotion campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.

While on the East Coast, she and her husband were actively involved in local, state and national campaign politics and local public education and church activities.

As much as the family appreciated Rutherford, New York City and all both communities had to offer, the birth of three sons prompted the Emersons to accept an opportunity to move to a friend’s 3,000 acre ranch in Devon, KS. It would be, they believed, a lifestyle closer to that in which they both were reared.

Following their arrival in Kansas on April 24, 1974, Emersons began farming and ranching while Anne continued her career in advertising, working with her first client, The Fort Scott Tribune — a relationship that continued until her work in government in 1995.

Her small advertising/public relations companies, under the names Creative Communication Services and Emerson Advertising, generated advertising and sales promotion campaigns for clients in the four-state region. Her work with local artist Bill Miller, received both state and national recognition and awards.

Emerson was deeply appreciative of the welcome reception her new hometown afforded her to become active in several aspects of community enhancement programs. Leadership positions included service as the first woman president (reflective of the changing times) of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, an elder and deacon of The First Presbyterian Church, chairman of the American Red Cross Drive, a founder and committee member of The Good Ol’ Days celebration, chairman of the Bourbon County Red Cross and founder and president of The Friends of Fort Scott, Limited.

She actively participated in various Kansas PRIDE community improvement programs, Magazine Club, FU Chapter of PEO, Pioneer Harvest Fiesta, Mercy Hospital Lay Advisory Board and joined two other women as the club’s first female members of the Fort Scott Rotary Club. Emerson was the founder of the Symbols of Sacrifice program honoring War on Terror heroes.

Her passion for government and politics began in 1950 as a teenager when she campaigned in Pennsylvania for the election of President Eisenhower. Active in Philadelphia and later New Jersey Republican campaigns. Emerson served as Bourbon County chairperson and worked as a volunteer in local, state and national political campaigns for Senators Bob Dole, Nancy Kassebaum, Sam Brownback and other local, state and federal government candidates.

This work led to serving as District Director for Rep. Sam Brownback in 1995,1996, then State Director of U.S. Sen. Brownback (managing offices in Pittsburg, Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and Garden City) from Nov. 1996 through Jan. 3, 2011, receiving recognition from the U.S. Senate for more than 12 years of service to the Senate. She concluded her work in government by serving as a District Representative from the Pittsburg office for newly-elected Sen. Jerry Moran from Jan through June, 2011 after which she retired.

During her years in Pittsburg, she was active in the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburg Noon Rotary where she was a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the board of directors of Southeast Kansas, Inc. She was designated by the Joplin Tri-State Journal as a Woman of Distinction in 2008 and later as a Woman of Influence.

Survivors include: her husband Timothy H. Emerson, Sr. of the home. Also surviving: three sons and their families: Timothy Hawley Emerson, Jr. his wife Darci Frasier Emerson and daughters Sophie Anne, Zoey Hawley and son Vaughn Frasier Emerson of Kansas City, MO; Andrew McCarthy Emerson, wife Kristen Thomas Emerson and daughters: Adaleigh Kennedy Emerson, Dallas, TX; Ella Katherine and Kate McCarthy Emerson of Loch Lloyd, MO and Michael Collins Emerson and wife Shana Beth Emerson, daughter Cali Beth Emerson and sons Nicholas Lee Emerson and Austin Ty Emerson, and great-grandson Lincoln Roy Emerson of rural Fort Scott.

Emerson often said, “The memories of all activities of the above family members — and our friends — will be what I will miss most yet I will have countless vivid recollections of non-stop activities at their always-welcoming homes or at our farm: checking cattle, horseback riding, swimming, watching ball games, meal and bread making, watching our furry felines trying to adjust to new family members!”

Additional survivors include Anne’s sister, and her family: Elizabeth Foster, her husband Gene Foster of Greenville, NC; Anne’s nephew Christopher Foster and his wife, Jun of Virginia Beach, VA and daughter Mimi, San Francisco, CA and Anne’s niece Susan Foster Nagle and her husband Scott of Portland, Oregon. Also surviving, decades-long, exceptional family friends and for many decades: Bill and Glenda (always our North Star) Lalman of Fort Scott.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, February 5th at the First Presbyterian Church in Ft. Scott.

Family visitation will immediately follow the service.

Memorials can be given to The First Presbyterian Church of Fort Scott or The First Baptist Church of Fort Scott, and left in care of the Cheney Witt Funeral Chapel, 201 South Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. It was also suggested by Anne that anyone wishing to honor her memory, do so by extending an act of encouragement to another with her motto being Faith, Family and Fort Scott. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

5 thoughts on “Obituary of Anne Emerson”

  1. Being a friend of Tim Jr. we are sending prayers to the family.
    Please note that the Lord Jesus Christ was the first to weep. May the Lord bless and keep one and all… Sherry and Glenn Darrow.

  2. I knew Ann from my position of Administrator at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village. She was a beautiful and kind person who always greeted me with a big, warm smile. I appreciated her kindness and support of the Village throughout construction and opening. She will be missed by many. Sending my sympathy and prayers to all of her family and friends.

  3. I was fortunate to be a neighbor and good friend of Anne’s while she and her family lived in Rutherford, NJ. We both had three sons who played in our backyards until she and family moved.
    We also moved from Rutherford to Maine. Just today I looked for her telephone number and decided to check the Internet to see if she was still in Kansas. I was so sad to see that she had passed. A true void for anyone who knew her. Beautiful, kind, intuitive, encouraging, thoughtful, always with enviable energy. I can only imagine the emptiness for Tim, Tim Jr., Andy, and Michael. Please accept my sadness for your loss. Judy Ginty

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