"Dr. David Neal Emerson was born April 6, 1935 in Wisconsin. He earned an associate of arts degree from Modesto Junior College in 1954; a BS degree in Zoology from the University of California in 1956; a Master's degree in Zoology from the University of South Dakota in 1965, and a PhD in Zoology from the University of South Dakota in 1966. His last job, which he loved, was at the Jonathan County Community College in Overland Park, KS.

Our Dad enjoyed walking, hiking, swimming, visiting national parks and studying the Civil War era. He was someone who loved to travel, loved life, and loved history. His goal with Volkswalking, a club he'd been involved in for over five years, was to walk all 50 capitols in all 50 states. His last state was Alaska, and he'd been in Alaska for only 12 hours when he dropped dead of a massive heart attack. So, he died doing what he loved to do, and in a place he had looked forward to revisiting. Per his final wishes, what organs could be salvaged went to those people who needed them the most. In death, as in life, he continued to help people.

He enjoyed music, playing piano at almost a concert level. He enjoyed teaching and cared a lot about his students. He was an excellent teacher, and was always looking for ways to improve his teaching style. Friends and family alike will miss him.

David Emerson is survived by his daughters, Karen Emerson, Susan Wilson, Judith Emerson, Deidra Emerson, and Deisa Emerson; his grandsons Shae Emerson, Joshua Wilson, Daniel VanNatter, Adam VanNatter, and an unborn child (as of August 2002). All of us surround my father in the picture that was sent for the quilt. His brother, Crague, also survives him."