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Chi Psi Loses Friend, Parkie Emmons

Wednesday, December 05, 2007  
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Mary Park Welsh Emmons, age 87, wife of former Educational Trust Chairman, Olin Neill Emmons ED '42 and longtime resident of Kendall County, IL, died Nov. 27, 2007, following a lengthy illness. She was born Nov. 10, 1920, in New York, NY and grew up in Clarendon Hills, IL. She graduated from Hinsdale High School in 1938. She received an Associate of Arts Degree in 1940 from Gunston Hall School in Washington D.C., then enrolled at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Class of 1942. Mr. and Mrs. Emmons were married Oct. 18, 1941 in the Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago. She actively participated in community affairs throughout her life. In Chicago, she served on the board of the McCormick YWCA and as President and a board member of the Women's Board of the Northside Boys Clubs. She was among the founders of the Old Town Art Fair, which has been held annually since 1949 by the Old Town Triangle Association, serving as Gate Chair the first year and editor of the program book the first two years of the Art Fair. In 1964, she and Mr. Emmons moved to family-owned wooded property located south of Plano, IL. She continued her active volunteer service as a resident of Kendall County. She was a founding board member of the Kendall County Historical Society and a member of the 1976 Bicentennial Committee in Kendall County. She was the first woman appointed to the Kendall County Planning Committee, on which she served for 15 years, and also served on the Little Rock Township Planning Committee. She was a founding board member of the Kendall Natural Area Guardians and a member of the Big Rock Creek Watershed Committee. She also was active in politics. In 1959, she worked on a campaign, even from bed in a maternity ward, seeking to unseat Paddy Bauler, the notorious Chicago 43rd Ward alderman and Democratic Party machine operative. In 1974, she served as Kendall County chairman for Tom Corcoran's first run for the U.S. House of Representatives. She served for many years as a Board member and Treasurer of the Kendall County Republican Women. In 1997, she and Mr. Emmons granted a Conservation Easement to the State of Illinois to ensure that their biologically diverse 60-acre property will forever remain a haven for the 200-plus native plant species that grow on their land, including an Illinois endangered species. She is survived by her husband, Neill; her brother, George Wilson Welsh of Kingman, AZ; three daughters, Catherine Park Emmons Phelps of Pasadena, CA, The Reverend Susan Bliss Emmons Bentley of Salem, VA and Nancy Park Emmons Cinatl of Wheaton, IL; nephew, William Wilson Welsh of Kanab, UT; and seven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Wilson Welsh, born in Glasgow, Scotland, and Harriet Park Howel Welsh, of Rome, GA. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 2007 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, in the Blair Chapel, 115 East Delaware Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007 at Turner-Eighner Funeral Home in Plano, IL 60545. For more information or to sign the online guest book please go to:

Published in the Chicago Tribune on 12/2/2007.

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