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Emerson Tener passed away last Sunday, June 9, 2013, at the age of 91.

Emerson overcame difficult circumstances during his childhood to build a successful life for himself and his family. In his early 20s he served our country in the Ohio National Guard during WW II. He was a hard-working self-employed plumbing and heating contractor, operating his business for 50 years, serving families, businesses and farmers in the area. He and his family built and operated a laundromat in the town where they lived, for many years.

Emerson wasn't just the guy who could install or service your furnace or heat pump, or remodel a bathroom, or fix your plumbing problem; he was known as the go-to guy if you needed some unusual part or a creative solution to a problem. He had skills in plumbing, electric, and metalwork: back in the days before you could buy ductwork he made it in his shop with a set of six-foot metal brakes; if he installed a steel gas or iron water line he fabricated it with a freestanding pipe cutter/threader; if the project required digging beneath the building he would do that, too, using his skills in carpentry and drywall to put it back the way it was. He did hard, difficult manual labor for many years, and well beyond the time most guys would have retired. I helped Dad on projects from time to time when he needed a second set of hands - to pull a well pump, install a furnace, or fetch things while he walked across the roof of a two-story house - and I was always impressed to see him devise some unique solution to the problem at hand.

As a young adult he bought a house and remodeled it from top to bottom, and then because he wanted a basement he dug the dirt-floor cellar out by hand, removing the dirt with an electric-powered conveyor belt device that he built. He laid up new block walls and poured a concrete floor, and built the concrete sidewalks around the house. Once the house was "proper" he married the girl next door and they started a family.

Years later I married his daughter. When we were first married we bought the house next door to him - the same house my mother-in-law had moved out of many years earlier. He remodeled it from top to bottom, first doing the upstairs so his daughter and I had a basic apartment, and then later remodeling the downstairs.

A favorite story about Dad: before he was married he had a private pilot license and owned a small single-engine two-seat aircraft, one of those fabric-covered jobs with a tiny engine. One pilot seat up front, one passenger seat directly behind the pilot. He and his buddies would fly their planes in the area, landing at grass strips. I don't know what make or model it was, but I've seen a few at air shows over the years. Anyway, the story goes that shortly after he was married he and his bride needed a refrigerator and some furniture for their house, so he sold the airplane. He never flew again.

Dad leaves behind two daughters, and two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who called him "Pappy".

Rest in peace, Dad. We're thinking about you on this Fathers Day.
 

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Howard,
Thanks for sharing your memories with us today! I'm sorry for your family's loss. Prayers to you and yours for strength during this difficult time.
 

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A wonderful post, Howard - thanks. It's evident that Mr. Tener had a positive influence on family and friends and associates. You are blessed to have been a part of his life. Godspeed, Mr. Tener.
 

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Sorry for your loss Howard. However from your synopsis it is evident that your Father In Law lead a full and productive life leaving a legacy that will live on through the generations. In the end that's all that any of us can hope to accomplish.
 

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What an uplifting post. Thank you, Howard, for writing it and sharing it with the community.
 

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Sorry for your loss Howard. Emerson sounds like he was a great person & you are truly blessed to have known him.
 
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