James Emmet Root

James Emmet Root

November 22, 1933 – September 15, 2022

Emmet passed peacefully at home in the arms of his loving wife at the age of 88.  He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Fran Root, and sons Mike (Nancy), Terry (Kim), Tim (Kelly), and Dan.  He was also blessed with 7 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren all of whom he knew well and had just celebrated a family reunion with all generations attending.

Visitation Monday, Sept. 19, 4:30-7:00PM, followed by a Vigil service at 7:00PM, all at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, 6116 Dodge St.

Mass of Christian Burial, Tuesday Sept. 20 at 10:00AM at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, 6116 Dodge St, Omaha, NE.

Memorials can be sent to St. Margaret Mary’s Church, JP Newman Center, The Institute For Priest Formation, or your favorite charity.

To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.

Emmet was born in Oak Park, IL, grew up in Minneapolis, MN where he attended St. Thomas Military Academy.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1955 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.  He served two years in the Air Force as a second lieutenant stationed at Scott Air Force base.

Emmet married Mary Frances Fitzgerald on November 30, 1957.  The couple chose to live in Omaha where they raised a family of 4 boys.  They were subsequently blessed with 3 daughter in laws, 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.  Family was one cornerstone of Emmet’s life as he relished family get togethers whether it be a Sunday cook out, a holiday gathering or a family week at Okoboji.  Incredibly every family member in all four generations had gathered and played together at Okoboji just 5 weeks before Emmet passed.  It was one of the great blessings in Emmet’s life that every family member found it important enough to come back for a week to be with Emmet and Fran and each other.

On January 1, 1958 Emmet started working for his father as a furniture sales person traveling to retail furniture stores in Iowa and Nebraska.  In 1963 he started his own sales representation company, Furniture Sales of Mid-America, that is still in existence today run by his son and grandson.  Over his 62 year career Emmet accumulated close to 100 sales awards from at least a dozen companies that he had represented.  The International Home Furnishing Representatives Association, the industry’s only trade group, honored Emmet in 2018 with the first ever ICON of the Industry award.  Emmet was so special to the industry that they created an award bestowed on him at an event with almost 1000 people attending.

Emmet started running at the age of 43 and continued this sport most days in all weather for another 43 years logging close to 70,000 miles.  But his true friendships came in playing golf.  He was a competitor from the start of his golfing career at the age of 11 until three weeks before his death.  He won many club tournaments, enjoying the competition and the comradery.  He met many a friend as he walked and carried his bag as he played the game he loved well into his 80’s.  It was a badge of honor to him.  His prowess on the course was incredible as he logged 7 hole in ones, and one albatross (a 2 on a par 5).  He also kept every scorecard that he had shot his age or better, the first one occurring when he was 68 years old.  These scorecards number a remarkable 113 rounds.

Emmet lived life to the fullest.  He enjoyed being with people and always had a smile and pleasant demeanor.  It didn’t matter if you were a server or a CEO, he treated everyone the same.  He had no need to look beyond the person he was sharing a conversation with.  He was a genuine guy who shared many friendships.

Emmet passed peacefully at home in the arms of his loving wife at the age of 88.  He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Fran Root; sons: Mike Root (Nancy), Terry Root (Kim), Tim Root (Kelly), and Dan Root.  He was also blessed with 7 grandchildren: Jay Root, Kara Bellino (Vince), Wynn Root, Galen Root, Kiley Root, Erin Root, Nate Root; 5 great- grandchildren: Tatum Bellino, Jack Root, Beckett Bellino, Mary Therese Root, and Keagan Bellino.  He was proceeded in death by his father, Emmet R. Root; mother, Josephine Root; sister, June Kraemer; brothers-in-law, Bill Fitzgerald and Dick Kraemer.



  • Fr. Jim Clifton, SJ Posted September 16, 2022 2:53 pm

    Dan: Even though my time at Prep overlapped with yours only briefly, I remember you well. I am sorry to hear of the death of your father. I will remember him at Mass this weekend, and pray, too, that God hold your family close these days.

  • Ray Williams Posted September 17, 2022 9:12 am

    Am remembering many fine days at Omaha Country Club. Will be thinking of all in your family in the hours and days ahead.

  • Dan and Carol Angus Posted September 19, 2022 12:23 pm

    One of the “greats” in the furniture industry and as a Friend, I cherish the time with him. His legacy is noted as the true Gentleman.

  • Jeff Johnson Posted September 19, 2022 12:51 pm

    Sorry to hear about your dad he was a great guy and always fun to be around. My prayers are with you and your family at this time!

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