Emmajean Risenmay, 80, of Rexburg, died September 5, 2020, at Temple View Transitional Care Center of multiple sclerosis-related complications.
She was born May 5, 1940, to Sterling Hyrum and Melva Holmes Rasmussen in Mojave, California, and raised in Vernal, Utah. She attended Brigham Young University, majoring in Home Economics Education, where she met her husband-to-be, Dee Lufkin Risenmay. Later she furthered her education at Ricks College/BYU-Idaho.
Following their marriage on September 9, 1960, Dee taught Seminary in the Idaho Falls and Shelley areas and for a time in Dodge City, Kansas, and later moved to Rexburg to teach at BYU-Idaho, while Emmajean was a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. Four children were born to them: Jeri Lyn (David) Gill of Sugar City, Michael Dee (Leanna) of San Antonio, Kurt R (Corrina) of Idaho Falls, and Liesl Ann (stillborn).
Emmajean excelled at all the homemaking arts: cooking, baking, sewing, interior decorating, gardening, canning, organizing, management, and especially raising children. She loved to teach classes to church and school groups on any of those topics, and she often took community education classes to further her skills in such crafts as oil painting, calligraphy, and cake decorating, to name a few. She read voraciously and often finished a book a day, in addition to numerous newspapers and magazines.
Dee and Emmajean loved to travel. Over the years, they toured the Middle East, Central America, China, many European countries, and much of the United States and Canada. Dee and Emmajean spent more than a decade directing Church History and American History tours, part of that time as Church Service missionaries assigned to BYU-I Travel-Study. They also loved hiking, camping, and fishing with their family.
Emmajean was best known for her service to others. She spent most of her younger adult years serving in the Young Women organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was always aware of what was happening with her neighbors and was the first to volunteer help when needed. She welcomed countless people into her home for stays both short and long—an Indian Placement Program student, international exchange students, friends of her children and grandchildren, and many college students. And she always kept her college-student grandchildren well fed.
Emmajean was preceded in death on April 15, 2020, by her dear husband. She is survived by three children, 25 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and her brother Floyd (Brenda) Rasmussen and cousin-sister Sandra (Paul) McCoy, both of Vernal, Utah.
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery. The graveside service will be streamed live on the Nalder Funeral Home Facebook Page. Masks are recommended. Burial will be at the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery.