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Emmett L. Whitsett Jr.
Emmett L. Whitsett Jr., 97, created as a gift from the Lord, peacefully returned to the Lord Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. He is enjoying eternal life with his Savior, Jesus Christ, alongside his beloved wife, Mary Francis Smyth Whitsett. He was born May 18, 1915, in San Antonio to Emmett L. and Nora Camp Whitsett and was raised in Floresville, Texas.
Always proud of his Texas heritage, with his first Texas ancestors arriving in 1830, he was the grandson of Samuel J. Whitsett, an early Texas rancher and one of the two namesakes of the town of Whitsett, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1938, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. Upon graduation, he practiced law in San Antonio until enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1942, where he served his country as a captain during World War II.
After the war, he returned to private law practice, married the love of his life, and continued his devotion to God and his family. He served in leadership with Hermann Sons Harmonia Lodge No. 1, the Town Club, Laurel Heights Methodist Church, and the Girl Scouts. He was a board member in the early days of the South Texas Methodist Hospital and San Antonio Christian Schools. A student and scholar, he often served the church he attended as elder, teacher, and, on occasion, preacher. He was an early discussion group leader for Bible Study Fellowship and an active member of Wayside Chapel for many years.
Dad’s life was defined by his faith in and love of the Lord Jesus with all his heart, soul, and mind and lived out each day by his never-ending unselfishness, care, and concern for others. “Grandpa” exhibited his love for God, his family, and friends through his integrity, character, wisdom, dry wit, kind smile, and soft-spoken conversation. The legacy inscribed on his grandfather S.J. Whitsett’s memorial, “The elements of gentleness, manliness and piety were so blended in him that he met alike the finer requirements of the business world and the loftier call of Christian fidelity,” was continued in Dad’s life and will continue in his posterity, said his family.
Emmett was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Francis Smyth Whitsett; and foster brother Camp Gilliam.
He is survived by his son, John Emmett Whitsett and wife Catherine; daughter Frances C. “Martha” Whitsett Steiger and husband Fritz; and seven grandchildren he dearly loved, Jamey Whitsett and Benjamin, Jonathan, Zechariah, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Peter Steiger; sister-in-law Truman Smyth of Michigan; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank all the caregivers, with special recognition to Carmen, Irene, and Greg, who ministered to his needs during the last years of his life. Additional thanks to Monte and Nitzie for their assistance.
A memorial service and reception will be held Monday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m. in the Wayside Chapel in San Antonio.
A private burial will be held in the family plot in Floresville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Equipping the Saints Ministry, 4006 Walnut St., Greenville, TX 75401, or the Floresville Academic Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 281, Floresville, TX 78114.
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