- About Us
Joanne June Evelyn Colligan Emert was the last child of 6 born to John and Emily Fink Colligan, a large Irish Catholic family from New York City. She was born on June 5, 1923 and was the apple of her father’s eye. She grew up riding the Staten Island ferry to school, but one time she and friends decided to skip school and go see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. This was an ill-planned excursion because Joanne had flaming red hair and was spotted by two nuns who were the girl’s teachers. Skipping school was never an option again.
Once she graduated from high school, she attended Atlantic College, a Seventh Day Adventist College in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Her plans were to become a teacher. When her brother Bill joined the Marines during World War II, she decided to also join the Marines to serve her country. She was twenty years old.
While serving in Washington D. C., she met the love of her life, Lieutenant Stanley G. Emert, Sr. She and some friends were on their way to a USO dance when a tall, dark, and very handsome soldier offered to escort them to the dance. He thought it was not proper for them to be unaccompanied. Later, the family learned he had spotted the little red-head with the sparkling green eyes and was smitten from the beginning.
At the dance, the MC noticed the young Lieutenant was not dancing, so he announced that any young woman who could coax him onto the dance floor would win $5. The rest is history. Yes, Joanne got him to dance with her and he told her he liked the hugging part. Three weeks later, they were married in Jackson, Mississippi. That marriage lasted for 67 years before the love of her life passed away.
In 2008, she and Stanley moved to Calhoun, Georgia to be closer to family. When Stanley passed away, Joanne moved in to her daughter’s home. Mrs. Emert lived at this private residence until she moved into Morning Pointe in Calhoun to receive more specialized care. She was loved and doted on by the staff until peacefully passing away the evening of February 6, 2019.
While living in Calhoun, Joanne performed in “Smoke on the Mountain” in 2009 and 2016 as the subversive church lady who loved to clap her hands, tap her feet and dance down the aisle at the end of the play. She said she taught Ken Russell how to waltz in the 2016 production when she was 93.
She was preceded in death by her parents John and Emily Colligan of New York City, sisters Tommie, May, and Martha Lillian and brothers John (Bud) and Bill of New York and Massachusetts.
She is survived by daughters Dr. Maureen Ellis of Burien, Washington and Coleen Emert Brooks (Bill) of Calhoun, Georgia and son Stan G. Emert, Jr. of Mercer Island, Washington (Monica); grandchildren Heather Brooks Ray (Will) of Perry, Georgia; Heath Brooks (Kelly) of Huntsville, Alabama; Hayden Brooks (Carrie) of Ball Ground, Georgia; Hartwell Brooks (Christopher) of Calhoun, Georgia; Brandon Emert (Shakira) of New York City; Katherine Emert of Maryland; and Abigail Emert of Mercer Island, Washington; great grandchildren, Jeffrey Ray and River Ray of Perry, Georgia; Evelyn Brooks of Huntsville, Georgia; Alex Pack and Hatcher Brooks of Ball Ground, Georgia; nieces, nephews, cousins, and many, many people whom she loved and loved her.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of this vibrant, funny, precious lady will be on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home in Calhoun, Georgia. Visitation will be from 5-6 PM with the service to follow at 6 PM. She was of the Catholic faith. All are encouraged to join the family in honoring a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and Marine. Music will be provided by Hartwell Brooks and Taylor Chavez singing “I’ll Fly Away”, a favorite of Mrs. Emert and an original song written and sung by Heath Brooks about his grandmother.