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John Franklin Emory, Sr.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
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Funeral services for Mr. John Franklin Emory, Sr., age 87, of Ruston, LA, will be held at 2 P.M., Thursday, February 13, 2020 at the Dixie Center for the Arts. Visitation will be from noon to service time at the Dixie.

John F. Emory, Sr. was born on March 19, 1932, in Choudrant, LA. He died peacefully in his home after a lengthy illness on Monday, February 10, 2020.

In 1866, John’s greatgrandfather, Washington Lafayette Emory, along with his wife, Martha, moved from La-Grange County, Georgia to the area that would later become known as Choudrant. Washington developed the land he purchased into farmland as he raised his family and saw the area become more populated. As the Vicksburg, Shreveport, & Pacific Railroad came through the area in the 1880’s, the town of Choudrant came to life and Washington became involved in the community events. In 1912, the leaders of Choudrant realized they needed a bank and formed the Bank of Choudrant, with T.J. Norris as the first President and Washington Lafayette Emory as the first Chairman of the Board, thus beginning a legacy that would continue into another generation. John attended Choudrant High School and graduated in 1950.

He joined the Army and served as a paratrooper in Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon returning home to Choudrant, he married his high school sweetheart, Sallie Edwards, in 1952. They attended Louisiana Tech University together until they moved to New Orleans for a job opportunity. Together, they decided North Louisiana was where they needed to be.

Upon their return to Ruston, John began working at Ruston State Bank under the tutelage of Mr. Howard Smith. John began as bookkeeper and quickly advanced to Senior Vice President. Later he became President and CEO of the Bank of Choudrant.

In 1987, under John’s direction, the Bank of Choudrant acquired the Bank of Bernice, which had a branch in Farmerville, changing the name to Community Trust Bank to better reflect the commitment to the communities which it served. It grew quickly under his leadership as CEO and Chairman of the Board, and today is known as Origin Bank. His employees would say that “Mr. Emory” was known for his commitment to the community, his compassion for others, and his eagerness to help.

He would go above and beyond the call of duty to help people in need and guide them toward a better situation. John loved his family and was an example of a great Christian man. He not only loved people, he loved his community too. He served in many organizations over the years including: City of Ruston — Board of Adjustment member and Ruston City Council, Ruston Lincoln Industrial Development Committee — Board Member, Louisiana Bankers Association — Board of Directors, Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce — Board of Directors, Choudrant High School Tennis Court Development — Board Member, Dixie Center for the Arts Board Member and he was instrumental in the Re-Birth of the Dixie, Ruston Kiwanis Club, Ruston Civic Symphony, North Central Arts Council, Ruston Community Theater, American Legion, Ruston Main Street Organization, Support of numerous other organizations, Employer Support — Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Med-Camps, United Way and Boy Scouts of America.

In 2007, John received one of the highest honors in Lincoln Parish; The Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Robert E. Russ Award, for his selfless devotion to Lincoln Parish and the people of Ruston and Choudrant.

His final legacy to the community was the purchase of the Britt home in Choudrant which has been transformed into a Community Center and Museum for the community to use for events and activities. It was his way for him and his wife, Sallie, to give back to the community that had been so good to them, naming it the “Sallie & John Community House.”

The family would like to thank the caregivers for their love and devotion to their Daddy; Sandra Hart, Kimberly Benton, Bree Crawford, Damien Crawford, Sydney Griffin, Oa Tuitele, and Sarah Rucks; and also the nurses of Professional Hospice Care Nikki Albritton and Paula Wall.

He was preceded in death by his father; Clyde Emory, mother; Ethel Emory, wife Sallie Edwards Emory; brothers; Roy Emory, Pat Emory, Jud Emory and Thomas Emory, son; Paul Emory. Those left to cherish his memory are John Emory, Jr., Larry Emory and wife Judy, and Douglas Emory and wife Sherrie. Three grandchildren; John F. Emory III, Reba Emory, and Mark Emory. Pallbearers are John Franklin Emory, III, Mark Emory, Gerry Click, Charles Hart, Charles Benton and Jeremy Dubose. Honorary Pallbearers will be former and present board members of Origin Bank, John E. Maxwell, Jerry Whitman and Johnny Gilbert.

The family asks that memorials be made to the Dixie Center for the Arts, Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter or Longstraw Baptist Church. Online condolences may be sent to the family to