Respected and beloved community leader, Emmett Thomas Vincent, 88, died Saturday August 25, 2012 at his home in Middleton. Emmett was born November 4, 1923 to the late Thomas Aubrey Vincent and Alma Pirtle Vincent of Bolivar, TN.
Emmett lived an active, involved life in the Hardeman County area. On January 13, 1943, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served aboard the destroyer escort, USS Liddle during World War II, surviving an attack by kamikaze aircraft. After his tour of active duty of 8 1/2 years, Emmett served in the Naval Reserve for 14 years. He returned to Hardeman County in 1952 to farm and raise livestock with his father. He served as a rural mail carrier in the Middleton area for over 20 years.
A life of service and work to his church, community, family, and friends brought joy to Emmett. Through the years, he served in various capacities with the First United Methodist Church of Middleton, where he was a member. He served 29 years as President of the Hardeman County Farm Bureau and as a committee member for Farm Services. In January 2009, the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation awarded Emmett the Distinguished Service Award for District 1, Hardeman County for his dedication and commitment to improve rural life and agriculture in Tennessee. As part of his civic duties, Emmett served as Chairman of the City of Middleton Planning Commission for over 30 years and on the board of Somerville Livestock Barn. His accomplishments are greatly admired for he has been a bricklayer, gristmill operator, woodcraftsman and home builder and at age 85 he completed the requirements for a licensed building contractor. Emmett was a world traveler in the Navy and as a private citizen. He enjoyed the people of Israel, Australia, China, Argentina, Hawaii and Alaska and he valued people from all walks of life for he was a friend to everyone he met.
The kindness and generosity of Emmett was extended to family and friends throughout the state through the use of his home and volunteer services. The infamous “Doghouse” built by him and his first wife, Carlene, was a gathering place for family as well as local, regional, and state organizations and groups for social events and activities. Emmett sponsored a community women’s softball team and provided meeting facilities for the local Arts League. He was strong supporter and generous contributor for the planning and construction of the Veteran’s Wall located in front of Middleton City Hall and was a member of the Middleton Lions Club and American Legion. His concerns for his family and friends touched so many individuals through his lifetime and his sense of humor brought joy to those in his presence.
Emmett leaves as his survivors his wife, Wanda Vincent, a step-daughter, Adrianne (Walter) Marianelli, a brother, Wayne (Marion) Vincent of Millington, TN, seven sisters, Helen (Ralph) Tolbert, Opal (Bill) Young, Jen-O (Dil) Newman, Kathrine (John) Perryman of Memphis, TN, Edith Pipkin, Emily (Marvin) Mills, and Sue (Bobby) Shelly of Middleton, TN; many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Emmett was preceded in death by his first wife, Carlene Lineberry Vincent whom he married on February 14, 1971.