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Columbia Missourian

Dr. Ardath Henry Emmons, formerly of Columbia, March 12, 1924 — July 20, 2013

By Submitted by Menke Funeral Home
July 23, 2013 | 12:52 p.m. CDT

Ardath Emmons passed away on Saturday, July 20th, at his home in Sun City West, Arizona. He was born on March 12, 1924 in Albert Lea, Minnesota, son of Clarette and Lawrence J. Emmons.

He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Beth, and his five children, Larry, Craig, Chris, Kari and Wendy; seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Ardie received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1948 from the University of Dubuque in Iowa, and a Master’s degree in chemistry in 1954. He received a fellowship from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and resided there for 4 years. He began work towards a doctorate in nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan, which he received in 1959. In 1960 Ardie and his wife Beth moved to Columbia, Missouri, where he began work on the design and construction of the MURR, the University of Missouri Research Reactor, which was dedicated in 1966 and is still in operation.

Ardie was the first director of MURR until he was made vice president for research at the University of Missouri in 1970. After he retired he continued to work as a consultant in the nuclear medicine field until he moved to Arizona.

Ardie was an experienced pilot, logging several thousand hours of flying time, traveling to many places, often with Beth, also a pilot. He was an avid reader and photographer, and was always curious and filled with enthusiasm throughout his life. He was a caring and loving father, husband, and friend and will be sorely missed.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 25, 2013 at Sun City West Christian Church, 20803 N. 151st Ave., Sun City West, AZ. Please visit to share memories and leave condolences for the family.