Obituary and Condolences

Reta R. "Nana" Emerson
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Obituary for Reta R. "Nana" Emerson

Reta R. “Nana” Emerson, 86, of Hills and formerly of Iowa City, died Sunday, September 10, 2017 at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at 10:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hills, Iowa. Burial will follow the luncheon at St. Joseph Cemetery in Iowa City.

Visitation will be Tuesday at St. Joseph’s Church in Hills from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. A parish wake service will begin at 7:00.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Atrium Village or The Reta Emerson Memorial Fund.

Born September 8, 1931 in Iowa City, the daughter of Joseph & Mary (Zahner) Vrchoticky, Reta grew up in Iowa City. She graduated from Iowa City High School. She worked at the soda fountain at Scott’s 5 and Dime Store – which is where she met her husband to be. Reta married Paul Emerson June 1, 1949 at St. Wenceslaus Church in Iowa City.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Iowa City for many years and most recently, Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hills. Reta was a bookkeeper for many local businesses – including Steven’s Sand & Gravel, Aero Rental, Breese Plumbing, Seville Apartments and Paul Emerson Masonry.

Affectionately known as Nana, she loved being with her children and grandchildren – big and small and young and old. She devoted her days to so many – making crafts with her grandchildren - plastic canvas needlework, bookmarks, tissue box covers and pencil cases.

The simple pleasures of her family encompassed enjoying holiday dinners, making noodles, watching her hummingbird feeder and she taught anyone that she could to enjoy playing cards. When not playing and supposedly “not” winning at bingo, she was always up for a trip to the casino. “Are we going out to eat” or “what and when are we going to eat” – was a constant part of her vocabulary.

Reta is survived by her children, Richard Emerson (Carolyn), Catherine Greazel (Francis), Stephen Emerson (Pam), Susan Richerson and Kirk Emerson (Pamela), grandchildren, Christy (Mark), Kenny, Dennis, Nathan (Roxanne), Jackie (Matt), Christopher (Tina), Anthony (Sarah), Elizabeth (Greg), Kimberly (Matt), Chad, Michael, Micahla, Andrew (Kate), Brandon (Emily), Danielle (Dan) and Shanna (Adam); great-grandchildren, Zack, Casey, Derek, Lindsay, Trevor, Jasmine, Emma, Lillian, Evan, Colin, Thomas Bentley, Aria, Wyatt, Ethan, Jaxson, Samson, Alison, Ethan, Kelsi, Mollimarie, Chloe, Jocelyn, Farrah, Silvie, Peyton, Abby, Zack, Madelyn, Harrison, Reagan, Moses, Harlow, Isaac, Sophia, Sammy, Joey, Max, Grace and Lincoln, a sister, Hazel Yoder Wenman (Arthur) and a sister in law, Marjorie Singer (Robert) and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Paul; son Paul Emerson Jr.; sisters, Dorothy Hightshoe and Ethel Mason; brothers, Donald, Sylvester and Robert; a grandson Richard Mark and a son in law Thomas Richerson.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Reta R. "Nana" Emerson, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

208 Brady Street
Hills, IA 52235





10:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

208 Brady Street
Hills, IA 52235


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