Emma Jo Spiegelberg


Emma Jo Spiegelberg, a Long time Laramie Resident, passed away at Hospice of Laramie on September 3, 2021.  She was a wife, mother, educator, and very special giver for her community.  She will be remembered as a tremendous giver to her family, friends, students, colleagues, and the community.
Emma Jo was born November 22, 1936 at home in Mountain View, Wyoming to Joseph Hatch and Dorcas Reese Hatch.  Her father died when she was six years old.  Her mother married again to John Riedel who was instrumental in raising Caryl, Emma Jo and the blessing of Mary Ann.  She was a graduate of Central High School, of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  She continued her education at the University of Wyoming where she received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A) Business Commerce, General, her UW Master of Education (M.Ed.), and later she attended Boston University where she earned her Doctor of Education (Ed.D).  While at UW she was a Chi Omega, and shortly after she became Chapter Advisor and then a dual role as House Corp President.  Emma Jo also was a member of many societies while attending the University of Wyoming.  Her favorite quote was “Born to be a Teacher.”
During her years after graduation she started her career as a Laramie High School teacher.   She was instrumental in the extended education program for adult students to complete their GED, now known.  She taught and wrote various curriculum for LHS including typing, shorthand, computer science, accounting and business law.  She wrote many grants to eventually fund the business department at LHS as well as Albany County School District.  From punch cards to paper tape, which ran on donated equipment from Wyo-Tech .  Students had to write their own programs whether in Cobol or Fortran.  The programs then had to be hard wired with cables.  Much like a switch board operator.  A successful grant that she wrote for one of the first “State of the Art” computer integrated her classroom as well as the Albany County School District.  She was the IT as it is known today.  During her Tenure at LHS she also brought in an alliance with UW for shared opportunities with her Students.  All during this time she was an accomplished text book writer with numerous business text books.
After Emma Jo received her Doctorate in Boston she returned to Laramie and became Vice Principal of LHS and later became Principal at McCormick Junior High where she worked until her retirement.  Over her lifetime she positively affected countless minds of her students, faculty, friends, and family.
There are so many organizations that she found time for during her lifetime.  She was in the Laramie Women’s Club, where she was instrumental in writing two cook books.  Zonta of Laramie, oh the fashion shows.  The Laramie Plains Museum,  procurement to our Ivinson Mansion Museum, UW Alumni President and a permanent home for UWAA, the Goodwill home and later the Forbes home at 14th and Grand, built by Spiegelberg Lumber and Building Company in 1929.  She was a Distinguished Alumni for the University of Wyoming in 2008. The Silent Auction Chairman for IMH Foundation, for to many years to mention.  The Cathedral Home was her passion, she had a longevity on the board of directors for 50 years.  During her tenure she with other board members found the forever home where it is located today.  The expansion today is a testimony to the dedication and remarkable board members that shared her passion through the years.  She loved students of all capabilities.  Education for everyone was a must!
A former student testifies that her efforts paid off: “Dr. Spiegelberg is among the best teachers I have had, both in high school and in college.  I can honestly say that her classes more than prepared me for college, actually making my freshman year more of a review of what I had already learned in her classes.”
Emma Jo credits her UW education for the success her colleagues and students describe.  “My professors at UW not only provided me with the knowledge to be a teacher but they also inspired me to be actively involved in professional organizations and in the business community.  My UW education made it possible for me to make a difference.”
Emma Jo enjoyed her endeavors with her husband Jim with the ownership of Dairy Queen of Cheyenne and their partners and friends Jim and the late Judy Filbin and all of the crew.  She also enjoyed spending every spare minute at the H-V Ranch surrounded by family and friends.  She enjoyed traveling and attending conferences around the state, the country and around the world.
Her battle with Dementia was a very difficult time for herself, family and friends.  Our family was so fortunate to have such tremendous and caring caregivers in her home especially Mary Rose Aragon and later the memory care unit at Spring Winds.  Bless all of you!
She was married to Jim Spiegelberg in Cheyenne Wyoming at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in 1957.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jim, her husband Ray Ferrari.  She is survived by her three children – William L. Spiegelberg and his significant other Lisa Chock, Hawaii, Emory and Karla Spiegelberg, Laramie,  Joseph John Spiegelberg, and his significant other Anna Griffin, Georgia. Grand Children – Blake Spiegelberg, Wyoming, Casey & Loretta Bader, Laramie, Effie Bader and Clint Bellflower, Laramie, Jessica and Angelo Sanchez, Laramie, Amanda Spiegelberg, California, Mary Spiegelberg, California.  Great grandchildren – Bailey and Talon Bader, Ryan and Caden Bellflower, Gabe, Abby, and Jacob Sanchez all of Laramie.  She is also survived by her sisters Caryl Marion of Idaho and Mary Ann and John Duffey of Colorado.  She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Pallbearers:  Casey Bader, Talon Bader, Clint Bellflower, Ryan Bellflower, Angelo Sanchez and Travis Sanchez.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm at St. Mathews Cathedral on Wednesday, September 15 with The Very Reverend Marilyn Engstrom officiating.  Visitation will be at Montgomery Stryker Funeral Home from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 14th
To attend services virtually follow either the zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89077256676
or the youtube link: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCve9lsFYuUjy36IHn30D7jQ
A reception to follow at the Laramie Elks Club following burial services.
Memorial Donations in her name may be made to the Cathedral Home, 4989 N. 3rd St., Laramie, WY  82072 or the charity of their choice.
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Condolences (16)

  • Carmella Roberts

    I will so miss you Emma Jo at our UW Basketball games. I know how you loved to watch the Cowboys' play. Your seat will be empty and I will just think of you in a better place and smile.......

  • Roietta Fulgham

    Condolences to the family of Emma Jo. I enjoyed traveling with her and her husband through ISBE (International Society for Business Education) for many years. She was always able to offer assistance to fellow teachers and members of our organization. I admired her professionalism and her career achievements. I will miss talking and laughing with her.

  • Connie Forde

    I am so sorry to learn of Emma Jo's passing. I came to know and love Emma Jo while we worked on the National Business Education Association Board. I have so many fond memories of her and appreciate so much the many contributions she made to our profession. I will miss her.

  • Dominic and Mardell Aragon

    Dom and I send our deepest, deepest sympathies to the entire family. She was an amazing woman. Dom still remembers her class where they actually hard wired everything for each computer board. I remember her as a wonderful teacher and a wonderful co-teacher. She had a legacy that still resonates to this day. The entire Spiegelberg family was an extended family to us, as Henry and Dom worked with many of you for many, many years. Thank you to you all and our hearts and sympathies go out to all of you. Dominic and Mardell Aragon

  • Anonymous

    We sorry for your loss. Terry Anderson Sally Anderson

  • Leon Sonksen

    It was a great pleasure to have worked with Emma Jo when I was active with the Mountain-Plains Business Education Association. Her impute to our meetings was of a positive note and worthy of consideration in the process of improving the purposes of the M=PBEA. My sincerest sympathies to the family. I know she was be surly missed.

  • LuAnn

    My deepest sympathies! She was a great teacher, role model and true to LHS.

  • Germaine St, John

    I was privileged to have Emma Jo in my life for many, many years, along with her husband Jim with whom I attended school with and we graduated the same year, I served on many community events with her and her organization and effectiveness was so special. Yes, the last few years were very sad for her and her family, I feel confident that she would not want to continue in that state, as she was so proud. Blessings to all the family.

  • Kathy Burns

    I was so fortunate to work with her for over 20 years. I will always be grateful for all she taught me. My heart aches that she suffered from alzheimers, as I also have lost family due to alzheimers. I am happy that she is peace now. My condolences go to her family. We truly lost a great individual!

  • Ramona (Mona) Schoenrock

    Prayers to Emma Jo's family. I knew Emma Jo when she was active in our business teachers' professional organization, NBEA/M-PBEA. She was definitely one of the most professional women I have ever met and worked with.

  • Donald Shoefelt

    To Emma Jo's family-- I was honored and blessed to have known and worked with Emma Jo for many years at LHS. She was a great teacher, good friend, and a very special person in many ways. My sincere condolences to your family.

  • Sandra H Gothard

    I met Ema Jo while I was teaching at Carey JHS in Cheyenne and she was principal at McCormick JHS. We served together on committees and attended conferences as representatives of Laramie County School District #1. She was a lady of integrity and caring. Emma Jo never passed by an opportunity to share knowledge and to support those around her. My condolences to her family. Though she is not here on this earth, may Memories of her remain forever with you.

  • Ann Benson Palomba

    My deepest sympathy for the loss of this wonderful woman.

  • Packerpoke@hotmail.com

    My sympathy to all the family members. I remember seeing her a cowboy Joe advance. And I let her just talk at the lunches that we had there are. You will be missed my dear. Gopokes

  • Anonymous

    To the family of Ema Jo Spiegelberg—I was fortunate to work with her at Laramie High School for over 20 years. If she believed in an idea it was “Katie bar the door “ it was going to be done. As one of “her people “ we felt like that our department was always teaching the latest thing. We even worked on weekends to put in wiring for the “glass house”.(the heart of the computer ). I think all of the members(7) helped her with her dream of being the best. She will be missed😞.

  • Anonymous

    To Emm Jo’s family From Gwen Cruickshank. To a great woman education leader . I was honored to be on her staff for over 20 years. She was very passionate any thing that she felt was important and you “got on he train or you were left in the dust”. She will be missed by all the people that she loved.

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