Jørgen (Jon) Emsbo, 82

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 10:00pm

Jørgen (Jon) Emsbo, 82, of Block Island and Lexington, Mass., died at home in Lexington on Tuesday, Jan. 15 after a long illness with corticobasal degeneration. A beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, Jon will be dearly missed by many. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jane Lydman Emsbo; his children and their spouses, Poul and Susan Emsbo, Kari Emsbo and Juan Perez, and Lisa and Stephen Emsbo-Mattingly; and nine grandchildren. Born in Denmark, Jon remained very close to his Danish family and friends.

Curiosity and innovation fueled Jon’s work and life. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree in Denmark. After graduation, he joined the Danish global engineering firm F.L. Smidth & Co. and worked in Denmark, Mexico, and the United States, where he served as Director of Engineering. Jon then created and ran his own U.S. company, IMTEC Inc., until retirement.

Jon, a naturalist from birth, also loved travel and adventure. He met his American wife, Jane, on a train in Sweden at the end of a camping trip in Lapland. (Jane was exploring her heritage in Norway and Scandinavia.) After marriage and brief stays in the U.S. and Denmark came six years of employment in Mexico, five years in Denmark, and the family’s immigration to the U.S. in 1974 where Jon eventually became a U.S. citizen. After many years of residence in Upper Saddle River, NJ, Jon and Jane retired to their beloved Block Island. In recent years, they have wintered close to their family in Lexington.

Jon was happiest when camping, fishing, exploring, constructing, and sharing this with his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends. After retirement, he was lauded for his tireless efforts and success to preserve the integrity of the Great Salt Pond. He also was an active member of the Block Islanders For Peace and Justice.

Jon was a man of integrity, curiosity, modesty, loyalty, and love of life. So many will miss him and remember his example for a life well lived.

A memorial service will be held in Lexington, Mass., at the First Parish Unitarian Church, 7 Harrington Rd. on Saturday, February 2 at noon. (https://fplex.org/) A celebration of Jon’s life will also be scheduled on Block Island this summer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to The Committee for The Great Salt Pond (cgspblockisland.org) would be greatly appreciated.