Emma B. Bourbon

Oct 3, 1916 - Oct 16, 2015


Emma Brown Bourbon
Born October 3, 1916, left us October 16, 2015 shortly after celebrating her 99th birthday.
Emma was born in Tilden, Illinois to John L Brown and Sarah L Brown [York]. The Browns were a poor working class family. Her father worked in the coal mines while her mother raised five children. In later decades people would ask Emma what it was like growing up in the first Great Depression. She always said they didn’t notice much difference, they didn’t have any money to begin with.
Emma left home and went to work in St. Louis. Ultimately she went to work for a couple, the Lockwoods, who owned a restaurant. After the Lockwoods moved to Shreveport, LA, to open a restaurant there, they asked Emma to join them and work at the new restaurant. While working in Shreveport, LA, she met William H ‘Bill’ Bourbon, foster son to the Lockwoods. Emma and Bill were married March 13, 1938.
Bill joined the Navy, and after WWII was discharged in Long Beach, CA. He sent the then pregnant Emma money for the bus ride to California, where their only child was born.
After moving from North Hollywood to Sacramento, CA in the 1950s, Emma decided to go to work for the State of California. The schools in Tilden, IL, only went up to the eighth grade. So, in order to qualify to take State tests, she went back to school to obtain her GED. Subsequently she took the additional Accounting classes she needed to promote. After 21 years of service, Emma retired in 1977 from the State of California, State Controller’s Office, as a Governmental Auditor II.
Emma loved crossword puzzles, doing beautiful craftwork, knitting and sewing. She had a fantastic memory for dates. Her favorite hobby was playing keno. In her last years she loved going to Thunder Valley for lunch, visiting with staff and regulars, and some keno. She was legally blind, but she knew the tone that would sound when her numbers hit. She knew all the staff by name, recognizing them by their voice.
Preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill, brothers William Brown and John L Brown, and sister Carmen Calvert Fullerton. Survived by daughter, Michele Bourbon Lozano; brother, James R Brown; and wonderful loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Sacramento, CA
US 95841


  • Ted & Joanne Bourbon says:

    99 wonderful years touched many friends and relatives. Wish our family could have been with you at this day of Emma’s life celebration. Love to you

  • Jan Becherer says:

    It seems to me that my Aunt Emma loved to live life to the fullest. I always admired her independence, her feistiness, and her love of family. I was so happy she agreed to fly all the way to Missouri, at the age of 93, for my dad’s (her brother) 90th birthday celebration. I’m certain she is having a joyous reunion with all of her family in heaven!

  • David and Janet Bourbon says:

    Although no words can ease the loss you feel, just know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and that we are thinking of you and honoring the memory of Aunt Emma.

  • Dennis Calvert says:

    What a wonderful life she lived. It was such a joy to sit and have a conversation with her. She always brought fun and spirit to everything she touched. Thanks for taking such good care of her over these many years. Dennis and Paula Calvert

  • Pamela Calvert says:

    Aunt Emma was a true inspiration to all the lives she touched. Her spirit for life and her witty spunk will be cherished in our memories forever. It was an honor to spend quality time with her on our visits to her home in California . I’m am sad that the distance makes it difficult to be with you Michele at this time. But you are in our hearts and prayers . Looking forward to your next visit to Illinois. Thanks for taking such great care of our aunt Emma. Love you bunches, Bruce and Pamela Calvert

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