James Emmitt Newkirk, 95, of Manilla, passed away Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Ashford Place Health Campus.

Born April 18, 1924, in Rush County, he was the son of Bert Newkirk and Nona Eschol (Stout) Newkirk. He married Alma Jean (Warrick) Newkirk on Feb. 11, 1947, and she preceded him in 2005.

Survivors include his niece, Dessie Arlene Jessup; nephews, William Darrell Nickel and wife, Jackie, and Wm. Scott Newkirk; great-nephew, Andrew Newkirk, wife Natasha; great-niece, Sarah Newkirk; and great-great nephews, Cason and Levi Newkirk.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; a daughter, Marlene Roahrig; stillborn son, James Emmett Newkirk Jr.; and five siblings, Myrle Dwenger, Jessie Akers, Dorothy Nickel, Nellie Wright, and Verlin John Newkirk.

After graduating from Manilla High School in 1941, he worked at the Standard Grocery in Shelbyville, and later worked as a civilian at Camp Atterbury at Edinburgh, Indiana. In March of 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Scotland, England and France until he was honorably discharged in November of 1945.

After returning to his home in Homer, Indiana, he started work in January 1946 as one of the first employees of “The Rushcraft Shop” in Homer. The Rushcraft Shop name was changed in 1952 to “The Sampler” where he continued to work until his retirement in September of 1996.

After a few years at the factory he was promoted to sales at the Homer showroom and later became sales manager until his retirement. After his retirement, he maintained a small workshop at his home.

He was a member of Manilla Methodist Church and a past member of VFW and American Legion.

Emmett enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and pursuing his love of woodworking. According to Emmett, a job was never finished until it was done right. A favorite saying of his was, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Glenn E. George & Son Funeral Home, 437 Amos Road, with Dan Leclerc officiating. Friends may call on Monday evening, Feb. 10, 2020, from 4 until 7 p.m. and Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Military rites will be conducted by a local veteran’s organization.

Burial will be in Hurst Cemetery in Rush County.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Grover Museum, in care of the funeral home.

Online condolences may be shared at glennegeorge andson.com.