Hello Red Barn Project Group,
It is with great sadness that I inform you that we lost Bill Emo this past Saturday morning.
Bill was shoveling snow for the neighbors and at his house when he collapsed and died.
Bill was 74.
Most of you may have already received this news, but as this has been a widespread e-mail of progress, fun and news, I thought is was altogether fitting to send information to all of you.
For those in the neighborhood here are the arrangements:
Visitation: Tuesday, 2/17/2009 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at First United Methodist Church in Freeport, IL
Funeral service: Wednesday, 2/18/2009 at 11:00am at First United Methodist Church in Freeport, IL
For more information you may go to the Walker Mortuary web site:
The Red Barn will never be the same. Bill loved working there, and loved being with his friends working on things aeronautical. This morning Steve Emo and his daughter Megan stopped over to chat, exchange contact information, collect some pictures for the church service and talk over what's next. Obviously the family is in shock, but all are coping bravely.
Grandson Nicholas and Betty Mickel had chatted yesterday about organizing a flyover for the service. Talking with Steve this morning the family thinks a better idea is to wait for better weather, and a time when we will have more time for planning, and do a memorial service with flyover and get together. Stay tuned. Think possibly Memorial Day. I will keep you informed as things gel.
All who knew Bill held him in very high esteem. He was a great man. He was a fine gentleman, a great friend, a wonderful partner and a person who always was helping others. He liked to help others and he did all the time. He was always on the move. He never sat still. If he did it was only for a few moments. He had a rare ability to work on something for a few minutes and go on to the next duty or job. He could switch mental attention quickly and easily. When it took me a half hour to get started, Bill would be working and finished and on to the next task by then. He could make decisions quickly and accurately. He was an outstanding person to know and work with.
I first knew Bill while working at Honeywell around 1978. We were in distant departments and I didn't see him too much. Later, when he began flying in earnest I saw him frequently at the airport (FEP). Later, around 1985 Bill became a member of All 4 Flying, the flying club operating Cherokee N7857N. He was a great partner, the best you could have.
Later I resolved to build a Pietenpol in the Red Barn. This was my January 1st, 1995 New Year's resolution. I was soon whittling away on wood and welding metal parts. Bill was beside himself. He was very interested and wanted to help. One day I handed him 6 or 7 boards and challenged him to go make some wing ribs. I didn't need to challenge him! Two months later Bill had built 60 ribs, enough for two Pietenpols!! Seven and one half years later we had completed two scratchbuilt (no kit) airplanes. We manufactured every piece ourselves. In those 7 1/2 years we never had a disagreement.....we just kept talking until we agreed. It was a fantastic time. I few my Piet in August of 2002 (N57TL), Bill flew his for the first time in November, 2002 (N58TL). Bill has flown his open cockpit, wooden, fabric covered Pietenpol over 450 hours since that time.
In the last three years our little informal work group has been working on Taylorcraft NC96842. In a few weeks the process of fabric covering will be complete. Bill has been an integral part of this project. When we divide up into work groups, Bill usually takes one and I take another. I never have to worry about how Bill's group is doing........Bill knows his stuff. I also found all kinds of people like to work with Bill. He is a good teacher and is patient with folks learning how to do new things.
This is a picture from Todd Haas.
It is a classic.
It is Bill in his Piet giving someone a ride.
For those who cannot make the funeral service....
well, no, for all of you...
Please take a few moments some fine, clear evening when today is trying to turn
Look off into the red after glow of the passing
sunset and the past day.
Look long and carefully...
and think about our friend and partner Bill Emo.
If you linger, you just may see a little Red
and White Pietenpol off in the western distance
Too far to see and know for sure,
but just maybe, just maybe....
That is Captain Emo
flying another mission in his Pietenpol.....