Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

Helen Emerson

May 23, 1932 ~ February 28, 2018

Helen Margaret (Walker) Emerson, the daughter of Milton V. Walker and Helen Patterson Walker of Springfield, Oregon, and wife of Ken Emerson, passed away peacefully after a short illness early Wednesday morning (2/28/2018) in Bozeman, MT, where she had lived since 1962. With her husband, Ken Emerson, (passed away 2010) she backpacked and car camped endlessly in every corner of this wonderful state. For Margaret the Gallatin Valley had always been home though she spent time living in New Zealand, Venezuela, China, and Spain with extended visits to Africa, Australia, the Azores and other wild places too numerous to include here. Her spiritual home was the outdoors in every season and in every kind of weather. She was particularly fond of winter and was out in the snow on skinny skis several times a week for most of her life. In the spring and summer she and Ken walked ridges and sought out distant mountain lakes chasing the next beautiful floral canvas or chance to enjoy wildlife in its native habitat. She was an outdoorsman and conservationist before it was a thing.

Margaret was also deeply engaged as an organizer and active participant in many community groups. These ranged from the local folk dance group, playing recorders with friends, teaching fiber arts and basketry, organizing the BWAGs (Bozeman Women's Activity Group), to gardening and creating art. It is hard to describe the tremendous breadth of people whom Margaret touched and empowered in one way or another. In her later years Margaret developed her unique visual language as a collage artist. Everyone who passed through her house was struck by how torn paper from recycled magazines could lead to landscapes and scenes of such remarkable beauty. It was a highlight of her life when she had a solo show of her work at the Bozeman Public Library to benefit the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. Each 'painting' was filled with her abiding love, respect, and intimate knowledge of the Montana she knew so well. As one of her friends put it: " ..this room is FULL of Margaret!"

A celebration of Margaret's and Ken's life is planned for later in the spring when the flowers bloom and we can all meet together outside. In the meantime she would wish that you find a beautiful spot in nature and enjoy it while holding your memories of her.

Margaret is survived by her younger brother, Ian, (in Seattle) as well as her three sons and their wives, Bruce and Dawn, Brian and Brenda, and Lee and Robin, as well as her grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, 212 S Wallace Suite 102, Bozeman, MT 59715.