County Recorder Gary Emerson passes

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Mt. Vernon community leader leaves legacy of service

Long-time county official and Mt. Vernon community leader Gary Emerson died on Thursday (Nov. 5). Emerson had been hospitalized with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) for several weeks.

Emerson had been elected the Lawrence County recorder of deeds in 2018. He had previously served four terms as the county clerk, from 2004 to 2016.

“I worked with him for 12 years while I served as presiding commissioner,” said Sam Goodman. “Many regarded him as one of the best clerks in the state. He did a lot of things to make our lives [as county commissioners] easier. Essentially the clerk is like the county comptroller and has to know a little bit of how each office runs. He was a big ally when it came to preparing the budget. He got forms out each fall for the officeholders to fill out, and we'd go over them. Gary would sit in on all those meetings and had reasonable input to share.”

Choosing to step down from that post two years ago, Emerson was elected county recorder of deeds in 2018. Goodman, who continues to work professionally as a surveyor part-time, said Emerson was “super cooperative” in that role as well.

Emerson also served on the Mt. Vernon R-5 Board of Education from 1993 to 2011, and as board president from 2000 to 2009. As a hobby, Emerson worked in woodcrafting, making Christmas ornaments for years for the county office holders and Mt. Vernon school board members, even after leaving the board. He made the podium used at Mt. Vernon school board meetings. Emerson was also active in the leadership of his church.

“I have nothing but great things to say about Gary and a fellow officeholder and as a friend,” Goodman said.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon.

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