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Rev. John Emerson Fontanelle

Published: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 10:52 a.m. CDT

The Rev. John Emerson, 69, of Knoxville, formerly of Fontanelle, died Aug. 7, 2014, at Knoxville Hospital in Knoxville.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Hawkeye Cemetery near Hawkeye. Memorials may be given to the Crest Baptist Church. Powers Funeral Home, junction of highways 34 and 25, assisted with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

John Roy Emerson, son of Wilma (Van Dyke) and Max Emerson, was born Dec. 4, 1944, in Leon.

John graduated from North Fayette High School in West Union and Upper Iowa University in Fayette in 1969. He later earned a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

On Sept. 24, 1967, John married Karen Kay Necker of Sumner. They settled in Waterloo and later moved to Clarion where he owned and operated his own Volkswagon repair shop.

From 1973-76, John attended Wartburg Theological Seminary followed by a two-year internship in Clarion.

John served as pastor for the following churches: Hamlin Lutheran Church, Brayton Lutheran Church, Ascension Lutheran Church, Coon Rapids, Christ Lutheran Church, Jefferson, and Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Fontanelle.

John retired in March 2008 after his health began to deteriorate. He moved to Knoxville in 2013.

John is survived by his children, Michelle Emerson of San Francisco, Calif., Kate (husband Mark) Hastings of Lovilia, Bill Emerson of Des Moines, Sarah (husband Tim) Lunsford of Pella, Laura (husband Jake) Welsch of Fontanelle and Matt (wife Megan) Emerson of Greenfield; 13 grandchildren; and siblings, Edmond, Mary, David, Allen, Joesph, and Margaret.

John was preceded in death by his infant brothers, Joel Burr and James Joel; and his parents.

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