Emma Hunsaker died as the sun was rising on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at her son’s home in Show Low from causes incident to her age. She was in her 99th year. A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 22, at Owens Livingston Mortuary-White Mountain Chapel, located at 320 N. Ninth St. in Show Low, Arizona. The funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, at the Vernon Ward Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 1570 County Road 3140, where additional visitation will begin one hour prior. The concluding service and interment will take place at 12 noon on Monday, April 25, at The City of Mesa Cemetery, located at 1212 N. Center St.
Emma was born, the seventh of eight children, on Nov. 15, 1912, just nine months after Arizona became a state, in Joseph City to the late John William and Ellen Elsie (Bradshaw) McLaws.
On Feb. 4, 1932, Emma married Leo Earl Hunsaker. He died on December 1, 1936. On March 31, 1937, she had their marriage sealed for time and all eternity in the Mesa Temple of the LDS church.
After the death of her husband, Emma and her children lived with her mother-in-law, Grandma Hunsaker, and later with her parents, Grandfather and Grandmother McLaws in Mesa. She and her children later moved to live at the Hash Knife Headquarters on Chevelon Ranch for about five years. Then they moved to the Derphy Ranch and lived in “the rocks” with a roof over the top until their home was built over the top of the rocks by members of the church.
She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother to her family, and enjoyed taking care of them.
Throughout her life, Emma was an active member of the church and on March 19, 1977, she served a mission in the Greensboro Mission in North Carolina. Thirteen years later, Emma accepted another mission call and on Oct. 17, 1990, she began serving a mission in the London South Mission in England. She was actually able to complete that mission at the History Department of the LDS church in Salt Lake City, Utah. She, too, was so proud of the fact that her three sons all served missions for the church: Theo and Leo, as well as their families, served missions to Argentina and Peru; Don and his wife, Jeanne, served a mission at the Mesa Temple and the Mexico City Temple.
Emma enjoyed traveling throughout her life, including visits to Argentina, Peru, Mexico, London and Hawaii. As much as she enjoyed traveling, she loved her family more. She loved spending time with her family and she loved doing missionary work for her church. She has been a mom and “dad,” friend, confidant, buddy and a taskmaker. She lived hard, fought hard and lived a life of dedicated service. She was an example to all she associated with, and will be loved and missed by all who knew her, however, none will miss her more than her great big family, for whom she made nearly 300 quilts over the years. Several of her friends and acquaintances also have been the recipients of those quilts.
Survivors include four children, Barbara Clayton of Snowflake, Theo Hunsaker of Vernon, Don Hunsaker of Show Low and Elsie Rowland of Idaho; one sister, Sibby Peterson of Prescott; 32 grandchildren; 118 great-grandchildren; and 43 great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, DonnaLee Hunsaker in July 1933; a son, Leo Hunsaker on April 13, 1992; and six siblings, George, Wallace, Frank, Ellen, Lester and Burr.