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Majors Emmons retire

After 91 years of combined service as Salvation Army officers, Majors Chester O. and Joyce E. Emmons retired on August 15, 2014.  At a celebration honoring them, Commissioners Barry C. and E. Sue Swanson, territorial leaders, presented individual certificates of retirement. Titled “There’s Only One Flag For Us,” the celebration held in Nyack, N.Y., centered on their complete devotion to Christ and to the Army.

The Emmonses served for 17 years in Central and South America. In Costa Rica, they opened an addiction rehabilitation center. In Chile, they served as divisional leaders and at the South America West territorial headquarters (THQ).

The Emmonses’ 30 years of service in the Eastern Territory included several corps appointments in N.Y., (Massena, Oneida, Plattsburgh, and Elmira), and in Columbus, Ohio, and Portsmouth, N.H.

They concluded their service at the USA Eastern Territory THQ in the Mission & Culture Department with Major Chet serving as director of Hispanic ministries, and Major Joy serving as assistant to the Hispanic ministries consultant.

In 1970, Joy Clark entered the “Undaunted” session from the Concord, New Hampshire, Corps. Chet entered training in 1967 from the Sanford, Maine, Corps as part of the “Evangelists” session. They were married shortly after training.

People attending the celebration came from as far away as Central and South America. Two of their four children traveled from Chile and from China.

Reverend Anthony Marciano, who led the event, invited people to share remembrances. Major Ron Lugiano, territorial trade secretary, played a medley of flag songs on piano.

Carl, a son of the Emmonses, and his 7–year–old niece, Aubree, performed a duet on guitar and on violin. Carl also sang a tribute he had written.

Also attending were four grandchildren, an adopted daughter, and a godson.

“Advance” was the title of Major Joy’s response. “Gone Fishin” was Major Chet’s title. Although he spoke of relaxing at his beloved family home in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, still apparent is his aim to be a “fisher of men.”

Major Ed Forster represented the officers. “Spiritual Kinship,” how strangers can become a family through the love of Christ, was his heartfelt message.

In closing, the audience sung, “God loves you, and I love you, and that’s the way it should be.”

by Major Ed Forster

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