Martin Joseph Emerson Obituary

Martin Joseph
Martin Joseph "Joe" Emerson

September 25, 1942 - March 25, 2024
Born in Des Moines
Resided in Sun City, AZ
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Martin Joseph “Joe” Emerson died March 25, 2024, in Sun City, AZ. Funeral Mass will be held on April 20, 2024,10:30 a.m., at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa. A private burial with family will be held at Glendale Cemetery.

Joe was a life-long resident of Des Moines, a proud “East Sider” and a 1960 graduate of the “old Dowling”. Joe and his wife Nancy were married for 53 years and together built a successful small business (MTC Systems), were incredibly active in St. Theresa, St. Boniface, Dowling High School and the broader Des Moines community. They traveled the world with friends and family, and spent summers in Clear Lake IA, all while finding time to be wonderful parents to their five children. Joe’s leadership was recognized through his board seats with Dallas County Hospital, Hospice of Central Iowa (Every Step), Youth Homes of Mid-America, Des Moines Golf & Country Club, as well as various telecom industry organizations.

Later in their life together, Joe and Nancy lovingly and enthusiastically welcomed the spouses, children, and grandchildren that their five kids brought into their lives. They fully embraced the idea of living in a big tent, and the Emerson house was always full of family and friends, whether for a day, a weekend, or an extended stay. After Nancy’s passing, Joe built a new life with Marcia Blake, in West Des Moines. Joe and Marcia later moved to Sun City, Arizona for what proved to be too short of a time together. Marcia was a loving partner and incredible advocate for Joe as his health declined.

Joe is survived by his partner, Marcia Blake, his children: Marty (Kristi) Emerson, Ann Emerson, Michael (Christi) Emerson, Michelle (Ben) Russell and Mark Emerson; grandchildren, Jacob (Kim) Emerson, Megan Nethercut, Hannah Nethercut (Scott Strub), Alexandra (Brandon) Carter, Spencer Emerson, Emily (Conner) Held, Tommy Emerson, Maxwell Percak, Winnie Russell and Wyatt Russell; great grandchildren, Mabel Nethercut, Natalie and Charlotte Emerson, Ayla, Miles and Ellis Strub, Cooper Held and Evelyn Carter; his in-laws Rod (Gail) Vicker, Theresa (Jim) Liewer, Kelly (David) Jones, Susie (Fran) King and Bob (Michelle) McCormick; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy, his parents, Marty and Irene Emerson, his grandparents, his sisters, Lynn Vicker and Connie Emerson, and his nephew, Kellen Jones.

The family will receive friends from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 19, at St. Theresa Catholic Church where a vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be directed toward Catholic Charities (Diocese of Des Moines), Every Step (Hospice of Central Iowa) or Hospice of the Valley (AZ). Online condolences are welcome at
Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel




St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA US 50311
Friday, April 19, 2024
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Vigil Service & Rosary
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA US 50311
Friday, April 19, 2024
7:00 PM
Funeral Mass
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA US 50311
Saturday, April 20, 2024
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM