Sam J. Emmert was born in Clay County on June 25, 1938, the oldest child of Fred and Marjorie Emmert. He graduated from Staunton High School in 1956, attended Indiana State University, and was a member of the National Guard. After working with his father in the lumber business, Sam opened Timberland Lumber Company in 1968. Timberland quickly became a staple of the community and it continues to operate today under the leadership of Sam’s children.
On November 24, 1968, Sam was united in marriage to Joyce Bullerdick Emmert. He and Joyce worked together in many facets of the real estate industry, including building apartments, developing commercial properties and real estate sales. During his career, Sam built numerous homes and developed many housing subdivisions in Clay County. Sam never backed down from a challenge, and he left a large footprint on Clay County and the Wabash Valley. In December of 2019, Governor Eric Holcomb and State Senator Jon Ford named Sam as a distinguished member of Indiana’s Circle of Corydon for his remarkable contribution to the state of Indiana.
Sam served on the Board of Directors for First State Bank, First Financial Bank, the Progressive Affiliated Lumbermen (PAL) and the Indiana Lumber and Builders’ Supply Association (ILBSA). He was a life member of the Brazil Elks #762 for 59 years, the American Legion Post #2 for 19 years, the Order of Free and Accepted Masons (Lodge #541), the Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute, the Royal Order of Jesters (Court 45) and the Universal Investment Club. As a young boy, Sam was a member of the North Forest Avenue EUB Church.
Sam never fully retired, but in recent years, he and Joyce enjoyed spending their winters in Ft. Myers, Florida. Sam enjoyed cooking and was widely known for the large pots of soup he would generously share with others. He and Joyce hosted many events at their home for both their longtime Indiana friends and their Florida friends; Sam enjoyed entertaining others and truly made everyone feel welcome.
Sam always had an adventurous spirit and was a licensed pilot for many years. He loved flying to new destinations including Mexico City and the World’s Fair in Canada. Sam and Joyce traveled extensively, including trips to South Africa, Spain, China, Italy, Switzerland, and several locations in the Caribbean including the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica. Sam enjoyed river trips on his pontoon boat with family and friends, and as recently as this past August, Sam, joined by his family, captained his yacht, Sea Scape, from Ft. Myers, Florida, to Kentucky Lake.
Sam was an avid golfer and enjoyed countless rounds of golf at courses throughout the country. One of Sam’s favorite activities was singing karaoke, an interest that he first developed with his friends in Florida.
If friends should so desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Sam J. and Joyce E. Emmert Family Fund, c/o Wabash Valley Community Foundation, 200 South 8th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807 or by clicking here.