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Glenn W. Emmerson
Glenn W. Emmerson, Founder photo

Glenn W. Emmerson, was an amiable young funeral director and Boy Scout executive,having resided in something like a dozen different communities of California, Oregon and Washington before calling Redlands "home" in 1935.

Among his other distinctions: He gleaned his education from seven institutions, but dashed through the customary eight-year elementary course in only seven years; he was the very first student in the Southern California Adventist academy at La Sierra Heights; his completed Little Chapel of the Palms was the first air-conditioned funeral parlor in the Southland; and he has more than 3,000 samples in his lobby collection of advertising pencils.

Only two years after his birth at Gaston, Oregon, October 29, 1909, his wanderings started. His father, R.F. Emmerson, had been running a general mercantile business in Gaston, but he moved the family to nearby Forest Grove, another community 30 miles west of Portl;and, and started another store.

When Mr. Emmerson sold his interests to F.W. Woolworth & Co., he had several stores in the same portion of Oregon.

Glenn had barely started to school at Forest Grove when the family moved to College Place, Washington, where his father became business manager and purchasing agent of Walla Walla college, an Adventist institution that he had rebuilt while there.

It was his mother's health that required the next shift. Glenn was 11 years old when the family came to Long Beach. There his father engaged in building, erecting numerous homes in the Cherry avenue district.

Soon Glenn's father became purchasing agent for the White Memorial and Loma Linda hospitals. They lived one year in Loma Linda, then R.F. Emmerson went to White Memorial hospital as business manager for that division of the College of Medical Evangelists.

Glenn was not quite 15 years old when he completed his primary education and went to La Sierra. Because his father was in charge of building the new academy, it was Glenn's privilege to ride out from Los Angeles on a load of materials. Thus he was the first pupil to reach the new institution.

He has been at La Sierra only two years, however, when his father was transferred to Pacific Union collge at Angwin, California.It was there that he was graduated from the academy and took a two-year pre-medical course, expecting to continue with a medical course at Loma Linda.

In Loma Linda, however, the elder Mr. Emmerson established a market, in which Glenn acquired an interest.

Glenn was married on March 21, 1929, to Inez Kinch, of Riverside, whom he had known at La Sierra. The wedding was at the Little Church of the Flowers, Glendale.

They had a daughter, Varlyne Inez Emmerson, who was born at Loma Linda hospital on June 13, 1933.

Glenn's first experience in the undertaking profession was with the Mark B. Shaw Co., of San Bernardino, which he served as an apprentice. After two years there he affiliated in 1932 with the Stephens & Bobbitt establishment. In 1934 he graduated from the California College of Embalming, Los Angeles, then returned to Stephens & Bobbitt.

The beautiful Little Chapel of The Palms was built in Redlands in 1935, the investment totaling $45,000. Mr. Emmerson was the newly reelected chairman of the Redlands Boy Scout council. Also he was the chaplain of the Elks club and had membership in the Knights of Pythias, Kiwanis club, Commercial club, Good Guys Motorcycle Club of Redlands and Y.M.C.A.

He managed the Loma Linda night baseball team which won the Redlands city championship in 1929. Ice skating was another of his delights. He was also in the radio and communications division of the United States naval reserve.