On Aug. 24, 1938, Emil Duane Schocknmyer was born to Mary Caroline Cromwell and Emil Albert Schocknmyer in Bismarck, Burleigh, ND. He was the second child of six. Being raised as the son of a coal miner, Emil decided early on that the life of a miner was not for him. He made the same choice about being a fruit harvester after a stint in the California orchards picking fruit with friends.
So it was the United States Army for Emil! He signed on (with his parents’ signature) at the ripe age of 17. He excelled in the Army, working his way up through the ranks.
On Dec. 31, 1958, Emil married the love of his life, Virginia Lee Pennington, in Dragerton, Emery County, Utah. Together they made their home wherever he received orders to go, if possible. His first-born son would have been born in Germany but for the Berlin Blockade. He did not see this son until he was a year and a half old. But Emil was there when his next three children were born.
Emil served three tours in Vietnam. The first tour was with the 1/5 of the 1st Cavalry Division. His unit relieved the 1/7 in the La Drang Valley in 1965. His second tour was with the 1st Infantry Division. And his third tour, which he led, was believed to be much easier. He served with the 1st Marine Division.
Emil served in both Tet Offensives.
At Emil’s last duty station he served as the NCOIC over transportation at the Sergeant Majors Academy in El Paso, Texas.
He retired at the rank of Master Sergeant in 1975 after having served honorably for 20 years. Emil earned the Bronze Star (V), Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal (six times), CIB, National Defense Medal, and all of the Vietnam Campaign Medals.
Emil and Virginia moved to Moab where Emil found work with the City of Moab. He was initially on the road crew, and then took over management of the wastewater treatment facility until he retired from there. Emil received numerous state commendations for this work at the wastewater treatment plant.
Emil loved bowling, hunting and fishing, and kept a beautiful yard.
He loved his family, his wife, children, and grandchildren.
When Virginia was diagnosed with a terminal illness he made it his life’s work to care for her and to oversee her comfort and care. Although he himself suffered from cancer and diabetes, he was there for her every day, unless he himself was in the hospital. Her passing in 2015 was the most difficult time of his life.
His example is engraved in the hearts of his children.
On June 23, 2018, in Moab, at the home of his son, Jerry, Emil finished his journey here like he finished everything in his life. He served in honor.
Emil was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; his parents, Emil and Mary Schocknmyer; his brothers Richard, Robert, and Edward; his sister Jeannie.
Emil is survived by sons Dwayne (Lori), Jerry (Pam); daughters Betty Sue Stoffle, Brenda Bennett (Charlie); grandchildren Maggie Schocknmyer; Jammie Schocknmyer, Colby Schocknmyer, Cory Stoffle, Taylor Schocknmyer Johnston, Courtney Bennett, Brendan Bennett, Dylan Schocknmyer, nine great-grandchildren; and his sister Kathie Schocknmyer Beattie.
A graveside service will be held June 29, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery with Veteran Rites by the VFW and American Legion.
You may send condolences to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com