CPT(R) William Jay Emrich
Wednesday, March 24, 1943
Saturday, May 27, 2017
ELGIN – A memorial service for William J. Emrich will be held on Thursday at 1pm at Fort Jackson National Cemetery with full military honors. All are welcome to attend and celebrate William’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Oliver Gospel Mission.
Mr. Emrich passed away peacefully on the 27th of May, 2017 in Columbia, SC at the age of 74, after a valiant battle with cancer.
William was born in Queens, NY on March 24, 1943 to the late Amelia Catherine Emrich and George Jacob Emrich. Upon graduation from high school, he entered the US Navy, where he served for 4 years. He married Carol in 1964. Following his time in the Navy, he served for 4 years in the Naval Reserves, after which time he entered the Army as Lieutenant. He served for 17 years in Army as a Psychiatric Nurse. Before he left the Army with an Honorable Discharge, he had attained the rank of Captain. After leaving the Army, he began work at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, where he served as an administrator for 17 years until his retirement in 2006. Carol passed away in 2001, after a prolonged battle with lung cancer.
In addition to being a dedicated and skilled psychiatric nurse, William had a passion for tinkering and fixing things, which developed into a successful jewelry business. He and his first wife, Carol, enjoyed creating and selling jewelry as a hobby, particularly after their children had graduated from high school.
William was a devoted father and grandfather, and delighted particularly in lavishing attention on his grandchildren. He spent many happy hours caring for them, taking them out for their favorite treats, and entertaining them with jokes and songs. His children will remember him as a strong and loving father.
He was a member of the American Legion. During his retirement, he and Jan dedicated many hours serving the fallen by placing flags on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries.
He is survived by his wife, Janice Louise Emrich; children, Renee Jackson of Alaska, Jeanette Brazell of Erie, PA, and Adam Jay Emrich of Columbia, SC; step-daughter, Sarah Grigsby of Elgin, SC; along with 19 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his step-daughter, Petra Gambrell.
The family would like to thank the VA Hospital, the staff of the 8th floor Avery Unit and special services Radiology Department at Palmetto Health Baptist for their efforts, care and dedication.