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Emerson to run New York City Marathon in husband’s memory

Bruce and Pam Emerson were more than a married couple.

They were a team. Their lives revolved around sports, whether it was competing on their own or following the athletic careers of their kids and the kids Bruce coached.

When Bruce died suddenly on Feb. 5, it left his family and friends in shock. He was 61, but you’d have never known it. He was the vision of health, staying active through the many facets of his business,  Emerson Services: "Lawn Care, Home Maintenance, Painting." He excelled in every sport, including winning a WIAA state track championship for New Richmond High School in 1969 in the 880-yard run.

His love for sports grew into coaching. He coached a number of sports, at all levels, including serving as the New Richmond varsity girls basketball coach for several seasons in the 1990s.

It was first believed that Emerson had died of a heart attack. It was found he died from a defect in the thoracic aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body

The Emersons’ daughter, Micaela Ellevold, found a website for the John Ritter Foundation. Ritter, a comedic actor best known for his work in “Three’s Company,” died of the same condition in 2003. The John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is working to prevent premature deaths due to aortic disease.

Family members of people from all over the country who have lost loved ones due to aortic disease have found a way to fund research in aortic disease. They plan on running in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 3. Pam Emerson will be one of those competing in the marathon to fund aortic disease research. This was possible because The John Ritter Foundation was selected to be a charity partner of the 2013 NYC Marathon.

Pam said running a marathon to help the Ritter Foundation was an ideal fit. She and Micaela been actively distance running together for the past several years. Pam and Bruce ran the Twin Cities Marathon 20 years ago. They also did the MS 150 bike ride together for many years. Pam and Micaela did an annual half-marathon in Green Bay. While Bruce was no longer running, he was the cheerleader-support team for his wife and daughter.

Pam has been following a structured program to get ready for the marathon, running five days each week, cross training one day and resting one day. She recently completed the City of the Lakes 25-kilometer races.

“My main focus is to build awareness,” Pam said. “I’m totally running for Bruce.”

Anyone wishing to donate to Pam’s fundraising effort can do so at this link:

Micaela has also designed a T-shirt, emblazened with the words “Strong Hearts.” This shirt is for sale, with $10 from the sale of each shirt going to the Ritter Foundation. The shirts can be purchased at:

More information on the Ritter Foundation can be found at:

Micaela will be accompanying Pam to New York for the marathon. As in all things with the Emersons, the marathon will be a family event.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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