Scott A. Emmerich, 61, passed away at home on August 11, 2018, after a 2.5-year battle with brain cancer.
Scott was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, growing up in Mosinee. He received his undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Communications, and later a Masters of Business Administration, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
He fell in love with Glacier National Park while working at Goat Haunt as a summer Student Conservation Association employee and left determined to return. After obtaining his seasonal law enforcement commission, he began his career with the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park in 1983, where he met the love of his life, Jan Knox. Jan and Scott married in 1989.
After a short stint with U.S. Customs as a Criminal Investigator in San Diego, Scott was given the opportunity to return to Glacier National Park as the West Lakes Sub District Ranger in 1989. He later found his home as the North Fork District Ranger of Glacier National Park where he remained until retiring in 2014.
Scott was a Ranger’s Ranger, a jack of all trades—a wildlife biologist at heart, a counselor, mediator, interpreter, educator, friend and leader. He embraced all aspects of the job—wildlife management, emergency medicine, rescue, visitor and resource protection, training and education, community relations, public speaking, mentoring, and leadership. Being a Ranger gave Scott opportunity to fulfill his love of the outdoors—hiking, skiing, rafting, and climbing. He was a park medic and oversaw the park’s emergency medical program including teaching First Aid and CPR classes and serving as the park’s representative on the Advisory Board of the Advanced Life-Support Emergency Rescue Team (A.L.E.R.T.) air ambulance program for 23 years. At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Scott was awarded the 2010 Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award for Excellence for promotion of the ranger profession.
Scott was very involved in his community outside of the park service as well. His love of the hunting and wildlife lead him to teach Bow Hunter Education classes to help educate young people about hunter safety and ethics. He also served as a School District 6 Board Member for 7 years.
His greatest joy was being father to his daughter, McKenna. He always strived to be an involved parent, from volunteering in her elementary school classes and officiating soccer games to attending her piano recitals and music/theatre/dance performances into her college years.
On a ski with his dog and best friend, Mya, in January of 2016, a healthy and active Scott collapsed with a stroke caused by a glioblastoma. For the next 2.5 years, Scott devoted himself to the fight, researching all he could to improve his chances through diet, alternative treatments, and exercise along with traditional western medicine. Most important to him was to pass on what he learned to others. He inspired many with his commitment and humorous and inspirational posts on CaringBridge.
Scott is survived by his wife and daughter; his parents, Donna and Arden Emmerich; his siblings, Susan, Cheryl and Jeff; and his nephews, Jake, Brad, Ben, Ian and Eric. He also leaves behind many loving friends and family who will continue to be inspired by his actions and his will to never give up no matter the odds.
A Celebration of Life will be held on October 6, 2018, details to be announced later. Donations in his honor are appreciated to A.L.E.R.T (310 Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell, MT 59901) or Columbia Falls High School Alumni Community Academic Endowment (P.O. Box 1641, Columbia Falls, MT 59912), both of which were very important to Scott.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for the family. Please visit www.columbiamortuary.com to leave condolences for the family.