Emmett Merrit Loring, 84, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, WWII veteran, farmer and part-time cattleman, died Jan. 20 in Fayetteville.
Emmett began his life in Hooker, Okla. on April 7, 1922 as the third child born to Merrit and Nellie Mae (Hodges) Loring. He attended Panhandle A&M College before joining the U.S. Navy, where he flew a PV-1 airplane as a bomber pilot in the Pacific during WWII.
Following the war, he married Opal Oleta Grounds in May 1946 and raised three children, Kathie, Gwen and Mark, on a farm on the northeast side of Hooker.
After working as a manager at the Knudson grain elevator in Hooker and as an inspector at Beech Aircraft Co. in Liberal, Kan., Emmett continued a career in agribusiness until retiring in 1988. Thereafter, the Lorings enjoyed traveling in their RV, visiting family and friends throughout the U.S.
After 48 years in Hooker, the Lorings moved to Holiday Island, Ark., where Mrs. Loring currently resides.
Emmett spent his golden years enjoying the companionship and devotion of his loving wife, Oleta. The couple's 60-year marriage was an inspiration to all who were blessed with the opportunity to know them.
Emmett was an avid card player and American Legion member. He shared a great love for his family, college sports (an OU fan to the end) and fishing with his lifelong friend, Gene Gustin. Emmett was honest, dignified and spoke volumes with few words.
The family gathered for a celebration-of-life ceremony on Jan. 22, in which they shared stories and memories of Emmett. He is dearly missed by his wife, Oleta, and children, including his daughter and her husband, Kathie and Jay Gustin of Eureka Springs, his daughter and her husband, Gwen and Bobby Buchanan of Corpus Christi, Texas, and his son and his wife, Mark and Terrianne Loring of Boulder, Colo. Also missing their "PaPa" are Emmett's grand- and great-grandchildren, Candy Fuller of Chesapeake, Va., Monica Pitrelli and her husband Tim of New York City, N.Y., and Lana Polzin and her husband Doug and children, Tyler and Tayler, of Galveston, Texas. Emmett's memories are also in the heart of his sister-in-law, Sara (Loring) Brown of Denton, Texas, brother-in-law Duane Grounds of Tulsa, Okla., his many nieces and nephews and numerous friends.
Emmett is now reunited with his parents, brother Rellis Loring and sister Glenda Dunning.
The family suggests any memorials may be sent to the Holiday Island Fire Department.
The family wishes to remember Emmett and his life by a recitation from Bessie Stanley: "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."