Emmert with his wife, Jane
David Emmert Studebaker passed away quietly on March 7, 2000 after a long illness. He grew up in and loved his Miami Valley, and has many descendants living in the area. He attended college at Manchester College in Indiana, and Ohio State University. He showed a talent for creative writing and wrote prose and some pretty good poetry. Until the age of 40, he worked for General Motors in Dayton. In 1946 he left to establish Process Equipment Company, located on his property just outside Tipp City, OH. Originally toolmakers, his ever-inventive mind broadened the company’s line to include automated production machinery for commercial, automotive, appliance, electric motor, and jet engine industries. Programs completed by the company have been used in space projects and by the nuclear power industry.
He was never a man who did things half-heartedly; even into his late 80’s he threw himself into projects with a gusto that amazed those who didn’t know him. Those who did know him knew that his life revolved around the American ethic of thrift, hard work, church, family and patriotism. His thrift and hard work made him prosperous and his religious devotion made him use the fruits of his labors to help others. He was always active with the Church of the Brethren and did much work with the Brethern Home and Gideons International. Besides writing, his hobbies included flying, genealogy, blacksmithing, rifle and pistol marksmanship, gardening, collecting Studebaker cars, resettling Dutch immigrants, and more.
It is a sad truth that many men who are hard-driving and prosperous in business have poverty in their personal relationships. Emmert was a happy exception. His wife Jane had been at his side as Secretary and Treasurer as he was building Process Equipment and he doted on her. Their two daughters, Barbara Jo and Sonia, were the apples of his eye and you could tell it by the way his eyes lit up whenever he talked about them.
His love of family and the desire to keep the descendants of the original three Studebaker immigrants united as one giant extended family led to the founding of the Studebaker Family Association in 1964. He was President until failing health led him to resign in 1995.
He truly enriched the lives of everyone whose life he touched.