Gardening 06

Kathryn Lou Ellen Emmert

December 5, 1922 ~ June 5, 2022 (age 99)


Mrs. Kathryn Lou Ellen Emmert, Lou Emmert was born in Madera to Marshall and Kathryn Hughes on December 5, 1922 and passed away peacefully on June 5, 2022, surrounded by family.

A lifetime resident of Madera, Lou graduated from Madera High School in 1940. After high school, she worked as a telephone operator for a time, but after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she took a job in Sacramento with the Army at McClellan Field. It was there she decided that enlisting in the United States Marine Corps would offer a better opportunity to serve her country, and she joined in December of 1943.

As a Marine, she learned to both drive and repair a variety of vehicles, including Jeeps, garbage trucks, and troop transports. She spent her time in uniform as a driver, transporting troops, supplies, and ultimately serving as a personal driver for a general, one of her favorite assignments. Lou served her country through the end of World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946.

Upon returning to Madera, Lou married Charles Emmert, a local farmer, and started her family. She raised three children and was active in her community, doing various volunteer activities over the years including becoming a Camp Fire leader. Summers with the kids were often spent with her parents at the family cabin at Central Camp, with Chuck joining them on the weekends.

In 1967, she and her sister Teddy opened The Grapevine, a well-loved local fabric shop, which they ran together for a few years. When the shop closed, Lou became a dedicated volunteer at The Madera County Museum and loved creating unique gifts to sell at the museum's Country Store.

When she wasn't at the museum or the cabin, she might be found golfing, zipping around town in her Volkswagen Beetle, sewing or knitting gifts, or watching NASCAR. But she was most likely outside tending to her beautiful yard full of azaleas.

She loved travel and she and Chuck took many cross-country road trips, ultimately visiting every state at least once. They enjoyed international travel as well, making friends around the world as they went, and always came back with fun stories and gifts for the grandkids.  

Lou will be remembered for her great sense of humor, her creativity and love of music, her love of the mountains, and her green thumb. She was very active well into her 90's and (often to the shock of her family) was more likely to be found high up on a ladder with her favorite pruning shears than sitting in a rocking chair.

She was a beloved and dedicated daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Lou is preceded in death by her parents, Marshall and Kathryn Hughes, her husband, Charles, her sister Teddy, her son Steven Emmert, her son-in-law Jim Gannon, her grandson David McDougald, and her great-granddaughter Emily McDougald.

She is survived by her son, Jeff Emmert (Cathy Capuchino), her daughter Kathy Gannon, her daughter-in-law Pauline Emmert, her grandchildren, Steven McDougald (Tammy), Nicole Cross (Phillip), Penny Duarte (Robert), Corinne Catalanello (Jason), Amy Cadanazzi (David), Wyatt Emmert (Marlea), Cristin Toschi (Jerett), and eleven great grandchildren.

The family sends a very special thank you to Lou's caregivers Patsy, Angie, Jennie, and Evalina as well as Hinds Hospice.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that remembrances may be made to: Madera Historical Society, P.O. Box 150, Madera, CA 93639 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.



Arbor Vitae Cemetery
1301 Roberts Ave
Madera, CA 93637

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