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The kind, gentle and loving soul of Gerald R. Emerson, 76, left its earthly vessel on September 9, 2011 to be with the Lord and join his departed family and friends.

Born in 1935 to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mildred Ruth Ivey at the Ivey Homestead in Bland, Gerald was a member of Spring Hill Methodist Church, served in the U.S. Navy, and was a lifelong farmer and resident of Bland.  A strong man of faith, he loved his family and farm, and enjoyed hunting and fishing.  God worked through him to touch the lives of those around him through his sense of humor, compassion and generosity.

He is survived by his son, Scott Emerson and daughter, Lisa Emerson, both of Alachua; brothers Ronnie, Wade and Wayne Emerson, all of Alachua; and a loving companion, Shirley Ferguson of Alachua.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Carroll Wheeler Emerson; an infant sister, Patricia Emerson; and brother, Dennis Emerson of Alachua.

Family visitation is September 11, 2011 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Spring Hill Methodist Church, Traxler.  A homecoming will be held at Spring Hill Methodist Church, Traxler, on September 12, 2011 at 2 p.m. with Pastor James Richardson conducting the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Spring Hill Methodist Church, Gerald Emerson Memorial Fund, ATTN: Gail Emerson, 24217 NW Old Bellamy Road, High Springs, FL 32643.

The family wishes to express its gratitude to their family and friends for their love and support, and to the staff of Haven Hospice.

Arrangements were under the care of Evans-Carter Funeral Home.