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Emma Riis Whittome was born in 1920 on her family's farm located at SW 1/2 Sec. 24 Township 46 Range 18 W2nd. Her parents were Walter Christian Nygaard and Kristina Nygaard (Mark). Her middle name, Riis, was a family name pronounced "Reese". In 1940 Emma married Steven Whittome. The ceremony was held in the Melfort Anglican Church manse. Emma and Steven had two children, Deanna Muriel and Steve Murray. Emma worked off and on as a hired girl and she was a house wife. Emma was interested in collecting and preserving antiques and artifacts. Her interests in this area lead her to become a member of the original committee that worked to open the Melfort and District museum in 1971. She also sat on the museum's board and was a dedicated volunteer.