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Jeannie's Story

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Jeannie Alice (Cavis) Emerson, 76, of Fleming Island, Fla., and formerly of 6 Elgin Ave., Massena, died Friday, July 21, 2017, at Haven Hospice Care Center.
Born in Redding, Calif., on Sept. 27, 1940, she was the daughter of Grant A. and Josephine (Nunzio) Cavis.
She attended schools in California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, moving from The Dalles, Ore., to New York in 1956 when her father was hired during planning and construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway project.
Jeannie graduated from Massena Central School in 1958 and was employed at Loblaw's Supermarket.
She married Gerald J. Murphy on Sept. 30, 1958, in Massena. The marriage ended in divorce but they shared raising their two children.
She was a member of the first graduating class at the Massena School of Business in 1965 and worked at SUNY Potsdam before being hired at Alcoa in 1966.
Jeannie worked in the company's payroll and accounting departments and served as a union president for a time. She retired in 1997 after 31 years of service.
She married Donald W. Emerson on Aug. 24, 1974, in Brasher Falls. He died on his 78th birthday, April 22, 2016.
The Emersons traveled extensively throughout the United States and North America with trips to Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska and Nova Scotia and often wintered in Florida. They also enjoyed annual trips to Maine.
The couple also enjoyed boating on the St. Lawrence River for several years, forming many lasting friendships.
Jeannie was a former member of the First United Methodist Church in Massena where she was an active volunteer with the weekly community meals. She also hosted Sunday evening Bible study in her home and, at one time, was a volunteer with the Massena Memorial Hospital auxiliary until her health declined.
Following retirement, Jeannie took great pleasure in making elaborate and colorful quilts and often gifted many hand-made scarves, needlepoint and embroidered items to others.
She moved to Florida in June 2016 where she made her home at The Allegro Senior Living Community in Fleming Island.
Jeannie made many friends, enjoyed activities and church services on Sunday, and she even went dancing on Monday nights until her health declined.
She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Joann and Ernie Cohen of Orange Park, Fla.; a son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Denise Murphy of North Lawrence; two sisters, Beverly (Paul) Bohringer of Litchfield, Ariz., and Patty Cavis of Lewisville, Texas, a brother, Jim (Sue) Cavis of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date with burial in Bayside Cemetery in Potsdam.
Published on July 26, 2017
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