John Emerson, age 82

of Quincy

John Emerson, age 82

Quincy, John Emerson, age 82, of Quincy, formerly of Framingham, died Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at the Massachusetts General Hospital, in the comfort of his loving family.

John was born in Suffolk County, England to the late John and Rosalie (Vevaet) Emerson. He earned his doctorate in Persian History from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

He arrived in the United States in the early 1970’s and had lived in Quincy for over thirty years.

John had worked as a college librarian and was an expert in Persian studies. He worked with special collections at Harvard University and Boston University.

He had traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East and enjoyed book stores, tea shops and was a big fan of trains and public transit all over the world.

Loving companion and partner for over forty years of Thelma A. Freedman of Quincy.

Dear brother of Mary Emerson of the United Kingdom.

A memorial celebration of John’s life will be conducted at a later date.

For those who wish, donations in John’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice.


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  • You were my best friend & constant companion. I was proud to spend half my life with you. The world will miss your contributions to humanity. I will always love you. Thelma

  • Dear Thelma, I was so sad to read of John’s death in the paper today. He was a wonderfully knowledgeable colleague at Widener and a great friend with his boisterous laugh. Later, it was a pleasure to know he was cataloging the Silk Road Collection for BU. My husband works at Ars Libri who brokered that collection for Professor Frye.
    I never met John’s sister but he spoke after of her engineering exploits. We did visit Mrs Emerson and his schoolmaster Mr Lamb in Lowestoft in 1991. She was charming.
    I know John loved you very much and it won’t be easy without him for you. I missed you both at the HURA holiday party this year. My very best wishes. I’ll miss him. Kathy

  • Dear Thelma , We was so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our deepest sympathy and warmest thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Thelma I just found out. What a loss! Enjoyed Johns sense of enjoying life. Loved it when he picked up his mail and his laughter. Loved it when he would suddenly break into song. He brought a lot into this world. You take care and enjoy the memories. I am certainly thriving on those when my :Sweet Mary: went on to the after like. The Patts family

  • Thelma:

    I was so sorry to learn about your loss.
    I wish you much strength and peace this day forward.
    When I think of you, my mind always includes John.
    It is always too soon to lose someone you cherish.


    Judy Fiszel