Basil Emery

  • Born: January 5, 1921
  • Died: April 7, 2021
  • Location: San Mateo, California

Sneider & Sullivan & O'Connell's Funeral Home - FD-230

977 S. El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94402
Tel. (650) 343-1804

Tribute & Message From The Family

In Loving Memory

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Basil by adding your memories and photos.

Basil Emery was born on January 5, 1921 in Ferriday, Louisiana to the union of Will Emery and Marie Ferguson Emery. He was the oldest of five children. His parents, his brothers Alphonso and Belton, and his sister Juanita preceded him in death. He departed this life peacefully on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at his home in San Mateo, California just three months after a 100th birthday parade celebrating his long life of service.

Basil stood as the Emery family patriarch and remained a guiding force for so many throughout his life, generously offering solicited and unsolicited advice whenever it was needed. As a young man growing up in the South, Basil felt the only way to start a new life with more opportunity was to serve his country in the armed forces. He enlisted in the Air Force during World War II and served from a base in Kunming, China, supporting the war effort at the terminus of the Burma Road. Shortly after the war he and his new bride moved west to San Mateo, California.

Not long after settling in the peninsula, Basil became convinced that a new hospital—and the essential jobs and medical services it would bring—was desperately needed in the community. In the early 1950's he passed out fliers campaigning for the building of what would become the new Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame. With the success of that campaign, he became one of many laborers contracted to build the hospital, but that was just the beginning of his 30 year career with Peninsula. He was first hired as a cook's helper and swiftly moved through the ranks to become first cook and then, in 1957, was put in charge of the entire Food Services Department, continuing in that role for the next 13 years. Given his record of accomplishments and strong relationships in the community, he was transferred to the hospital's Personnel Department as an Employee Representative in 1970. He then became Administrative Assistant to the hospital's administrator and concluded his tenure at Peninsula Hospital as Human Relations Counselor.

Basil always felt it was important to remain involved in the community and he contributed in many ways. At the height of the civil rights movement, he served as President of the San Mateo Chapter of the NAACP and with the NAACP he helped establish a credit union in San Mateo to provide loans to African Americans at a time when others in the area refused to lend money. Basil Emery was the first Black member of the Burlingame Rotary Club, he was honored with its Paul Harris Fellowship, and he remained a member of the Club for over 50 years until his death.

A man of great faith, Basil was a proud member of the Pilgrim Baptist Church and served on the church's Board of Trustees. He was a Director of the March of Dimes Campaign and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for 12 different community service organizations. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge #34 in San Francisco.

Basil leaves his beloved wife of 78 years, Annabelle Emery, to cherish his memory and their eight decades of shared love and laughter. Joining her in mourning are his sister Odessa Grimes of San Mateo, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends, as well as the countless people he touched with his kindness and wisdom. Over the course of a century he lived to the absolute fullest.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the funeral services will be private.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Annabelle, my condolences to you and your family for a the life of Basil Emery well lived.

Posted by Linda Williams - Family   April 19, 2021

Sending our love and prayers to the family during this time, he was an incredible person we were blessed to know him. We love you and are here if we can do anything just let us know.

Love McCardie Family

Posted by Kenny McCardie - Fremont, CA - Friend   April 19, 2021

God Bless Your Good/Faithful Servant...Basil-
May His Soul Rest In Peace

Posted by Charles Billings - Madison, WI - Friend   April 19, 2021

My thoughts and prayers are going up to our Lord and Savior for the comfort and peace that only he can give. I will continue praying for you Mrs. Emery as well as the family and friends. May God give you just a bit of extra amount of grace as you process through this difficult time. May Gods peace be with you from the family of Mrs. Ella Taylor

Posted by Shelia Taylor - NEWARK, CA - Family Friend   April 18, 2021

Basil was a strong advocate for people. I worked at Peninsula Hospital for a year starting in August of 1980. When employees had a problem or issue with management and needed support they sought out Basil. He always made an effort to support staff members and seek a fair resolution to the problem. Movements to advance towards racial and gender equity were just beginning. In many ways it was new territory. There weren't any rule books or procedures. Basil was an important part of that process that continues today. He was a caring person and will be well remembered.

Posted by Matt Friedman - Coworker   April 17, 2021

RIP BasilIt is an honor to have known you. I love you Annabelle and pray for your comfort in this time of great sorrow.

Posted by Carole Kraftschik - Walnut Creek, CA - Friend   April 16, 2021


I am honored to have known you Basil. A wonderful man. I love you Anbabelle and pray for your comfort in this time of sorrow

Posted by Carole Kraftschik - Walnut Creek, CA - friend   April 16, 2021


My Sincere condolences to Annabelle and family. Brother Emery will be missed. I pray for your peace and comfort you during this time. God Bless you!

Posted by Leslie Curry - Stockton, CA   April 15, 2021

My deepest condolences to my Aunt Annabelle. What a blessing to have had Uncle Basil in your life for over 78 years. I pray that God wraps you up in his loving arms to console you for the loss of your loving husband. Everyone here is Las Vegas is sending you hugs and kissed. Love you Aunt Annabelle.

Posted by Karen Clement - Las Vegas, NV - Family   April 14, 2021


Sending cherished thoughts, fond memories, prayers and love!

Posted by Clarice Mackel - Oakland, CA - Family Friend   April 14, 2021

Our condolences to Annabelle and the entire family and community. Basil's legacy is something we are proud of and cherish the times that we spent with him and Annabelle in Chicago, Illinois.
We are praying for the family and thanking God for Basil's blessed life.

Posted by Linda Gibson - Family   April 14, 2021

Dear Anne ~ I'm sorry for your loss. May your heart soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived. May God's blessings surround and comfort you. Sincerely, Gwen, Nicholas and Jarrett Williams

Posted by Gwen Williams - Stone Mountain, GA - family   April 13, 2021

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