Mrs. Margaret "Elise" Aemmer was a modest woman, quiet and observant in her ways. She was trustworthy and traditional in her approach to her life and in her relationships. She was tough-minded with the kind of "stick to it" attitude that earned the respect of all who knew her. She was also a woman who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything she undertook. Realistic about life, she was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.
She was the daughter of Curtis and Selene Shirley and named after her grandmother, Margaret and Elise was named after a distant cousin in Texas. Elise was the oldest of the seven children, one sister, Jean and five brothers, Rob, Ray, Jerry, Alvin and Kent. They grew up on their family farm in Floyds Knobs, Indiana that was located where the Valley View Golf Course is now. Elise was usually involved in all sorts of activities with her siblings. She and her siblings experienced rivalries typical of a growing family, but they shared many life experiences over the years. As a young girl, Elise had a number of responsibilities. One of which was to ride the horse to get the cows in from the field. The family had a large strawberry farm and Elise and the other children helped to hoe the fields and pick the strawberries to be taken to the co-op in Floyds Knobs. However, to Elise, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with her friends. In her spare time she liked to play baseball with her siblings and friends. She said they always had a baseball game going in the field. When they could not play outside, they played checkers inside. Elise's most vivid memory as a child was a cow chasing their billy goat and her brother was chasing after them. The billy goat turned around and struck her brother in his eyelid with its horn. No one was around with a car so they ran to the neighbor that was about a half mile away and the neighbor took him to the hospital. Thankfully, his eye was not hurt.
Elise had fond memories of her school days. She went to school in a two-room school house located in Floyds Knobs at the old brick building on Scottsville Road across from where the Berry Twist is today. First through Fourth grades were in one room and Fifth through Eighth were in the other room. There were eleven people in her eighth grade class. A typical teenager, Elise had a fairly happy school experience, making that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. She graduated from New Albany High School in 1943. Always considered a "good" friend to those she knew, Elise enjoyed a broad group of acquaintances and several very close friends during her lifetime. While growing up, some of her best friends were Norma Lee (Miller) Best, Pauline (Miller) Roehm and Norman Lee Miller and they remained life-long friends. One of her best friends was her sister Jean. They were not only close in age, they were close friends growing up sharing friends and fun. Many times they would walk to the Jitney to meet up with their friends. Elise spoke of many memorable times at the Jitney. The Jitney (which means the nickel) was a popular hang out with a juke box and food. Elise bragged on their fish sandwich saying there was none like it. In December, 1945 Elise was at the Jitney and met Fred Aemmer. He asked her to marry him that day and she said yes the same day! Two years later they were married and shared a love that lasted for over 60 years.
Elise worked hard to be a good mother to her children and she did her best to fulfill their needs. Elise was blessed with four children, one son, Fred, Jr and three daughters, Janet, Sharon and Sandy. The children all have fond memories of sleigh riding in the snow down the road and Christmas time when their dad would take them to his mother's house while Elise stayed behind. When they returned home, Santa had visited and left the presents. Holidays were always special at the Aemmer house and a gathering place for friends and family. Another blessing for Margaret was the gift of ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Victor, Maggie, Liza, Bradley, Virgil, Brent, Lisa, Brian, Julie, Missy, Seth, Rachel, Brandy, Megan, Jenna, Nick, Tessa and Scott. All of which have fond memories of the Christmas Eve parties at Grandmas, Easter Egg hunts in the yard, and Halloween parties with Grandma and Grandpa.
Fortunately, Elise enjoyed what she did for a living. Showing a strong work ethic, Elise worked diligently and did her best to succeed in her career. Growing up she wanted to learn how to type and her ambition was to work in an office. She accomplished both and was employed for 35 years at Silver Fleet Mason Dixon. Elise always sought to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done. This earned her the respect of her co-workers some of which she kept in touch more than 25 years after her retirement. Elise enjoyed her leisure time by gardening and shopping. She was content to enjoy her favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share her interests with others. She enjoyed the vacations she and Fred took. It was a chance to visit new places and experience new things. Favorite vacations included the trip they took with Virgil and Lorine to North Dakota and the trips they took to Florida to visit Fred's sister Rose and her husband Fritz.
When Elise's retirement finally arrived in 1983, she was well prepared. In retirement, she found new pleasure in her passion, gardening and spending time with Fred. She would also take trips with Toby Tours with her friends, Margaret and Dorothy. Even in retirement, Elise continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. Elise was active in her new community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered her. Throughout her life, Elise was a doer and in her later years became actively involved an active member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She and Fred made many friends at the American Legion, some of which she accepted in as part of the family.
Simply stated, Elise was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by her family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Elise leaves behind her a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life she touched will always remember Mrs. Margaret "Elise" Aemmer.
Margaret "Elise" Shirley Aemmer, 85, of Floyd Knobs was born June 20, 1925 to Curtis and Selene Shirley. A native of Floyd Knobs, Elise graduated from New Albany High School in 1943 and retired from Silver Fleet Mason Dixon in 1983 after 35 years of service. She was a member of St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church and the American Legion Post 42 Ladies Auxiliary. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years , Frederick James Aemmer, Sr., and her parents Curtis and Selene Shirley.
Children: Janet Davis (Scott)
Sharon Peay (Virgil, II)
Sandy Whalen (Tom)
Fred Aemmer, Jr. (Julie)
Grandchildren: Missy Michal (Ed)
Julie Striegel (Rob)
Brian Cook (Angie)
Lisa Barker (Todd)
Brent Cook (Becky)
Virgil Peay III (Dawn)
Great Grandchildren: Scott Striegel, Tessa Barker, Nicolas Michal, Jenna Cook,
Megan Cook, Brandi Striegel, Rachel Cook and Seth Cook
Sister: Mary Jean Loftus
Brothers: Rob Shirley (Joan)
Ray Shirley (Martha)
Jerry Shirley (Agnes)
Alvin Shirley (Sharon)
Kent Shirley (Linda)
Visitation will be from 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm Monday at Kraft Funeral Service, 708 E. Spring St., New Albany. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am Tuesday at St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church with burial to follow in St. Mary of the Knobs Cemetery. A prayer service will be held 6:00 pm Monday at the funeral home. The family has asked that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to St. Mary of the Knobs Church or the American Legion post 42 Ladies Auxiliary in Floyd Knobs.