Skip to content



Elton Jay Emel, 83, passed away November 24, 2007, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.

            He was born the son of Arthur C. and Hazel (Humphrey) Emel on September 22, 1924 in Bible Grove, Missouri.  Elton graduated from Bible Grove High School in 1942. 

On October 10, 1945, he married the former Opal Marie Wright in Memphis, Missouri.   She survives.

The couple owned a farm near Bible Grove, and Elton had a long, successful career as a cattleman.

            He was a member of the Bible Grove Christian Church and the Bible Grove Saddle Club.  Throughout his life, Elton was active in community affairs, taking part in many projects and activities that benefited his friends and neighbors.  He also served as a member of the Bible Grove School Board for many years.

            Elton was a lifelong outdoorsman:  an avid fisherman, hunter, and horseman.  He took pleasure in attending livestock auctions, both for social and business purposes.  His favorite pastime, however, was “visiting”, and he had developed the process of making new friends and keeping old ones to a fine art.

            Elton took great pleasure in reading, especially Westerns.  He was a devoted patron of the Scotland County Library and visited frequently to get a new supply of books.

            He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Carey Idell Erwin. 

He is survived by his wife, Opal, of the home; his five children:  Joyce and husband Larry Crim of Carmen, Illinois, Jolene Neighbors of Kirksville, Randy Emel of Memphis, Danny and wife Terri Emel of Memphis, and Melanee and husband Jeff Crist of Kirksville; grandchildren:  Brandon and wife Monica Crim of LaHarpe, Illinois, Melissa Emel of Memphis, Christina and husband Christian Funk of Madison, New Jersey, Jason Emel of Bible Grove, Byron and wife Kimberly Neighbors of Columbia, Missouri, Jessica  and husband Jason Hill of Owasso, Oklahoma, Evan Emel of St. Louis, Aaron and wife Staci Emel of Columbia, Missouri and Conner Crist of Kirksville; seven great-grandchildren:  Jadrien, Jared, Torie, Jacob, Caitlin, Gunnar, and Grace; his nieces and nephews:  Rebecca Wilson of Morning Sun, Iowa, Al Erwin of Brashear, Lonnie Erwin of Bible Grove, and Reta Langston of Hannibal; six great nieces and nephews and eight great-great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with Dan Hite, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Memphis officiating.  Burial was in the Memphis Cemetery.  Pam Blaine played the piano prior to and after the service.   His grandchildren, Byron Neighbors and Jessica Hill, performed the Old Rugged Cross, Precious Lord, and Amazing Grace during the service.  Eldon’s grandsons, Brandon Crim, Jason Emel, Byron Neighbors, Evan Emel, Aaron Emel and Connor Crist, served as his pallbearers.

            Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Library and can be left at or mailed to: Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to Mr. Emel’s family via email at

Arrangements were under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service from their Memphis chapel.