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Em Niebes, Photo by John Haynesworth; pictured: the late Em Niebes (middle row, right), with wife Joyce (top row, middle) and their grandchildren

A Father’s Legacy Lives On

Our founder and publisher looks back on the life and legacy of her father, the late Em Niebes.

We dedicated the September 2007 issue to my father, Em Niebes (1925–2007), who believed in me and in the mission of this magazine from the very beginning.

He invested time, money and wisdom into the growth of Lauren Publications and was continually interested in what was going on, especially in sales because that was Dad’s passion. We officed together and he would try to keep up with everyone who worked for the magazine — an effort he enjoyed making.

As a salesman, my dad traveled a lot. I can remember it as if it were yesterday, waking up when he was leaving for one of his long trips, kissing him goodbye and begging him to stay. After the door shut, I would run to my bedroom, knock on the window and wave to him, watching his car until I couldn’t see it anymore. What I didn’t know is that he would sit at the end of our lane trying to gain his composure, while his 5-year-old daughter cried herself back to sleep. Luckily, he didn’t stay with that job very long, but he would always travel (although never weeks at a time again).

Dad sold everything from milking machines to sweatshirts and had a story for every sale, which he loved retelling. He worked closely with Sam Walton of Wal-Mart when Sam only had three stores and remained a customer out of loyalty to Mr. Sam. That’s just how Dad was.

I have worked with my dad since my early teens. I was his secretary for a short time until I decided to try my hand in selling – the “family business.” Dad always said that to be a success you must learn to sell yourself. Though I found my own passion in publishing, his advice never left me.

My Dad loved the Lord, his family, his work and his life, and as such, he was a wonderful role model. He was a strict disciplinarian only because he had high expectations for his kids, just as he had for himself. He had an incredibly kind heart and was exceptionally generous.

The best gift he gave me though were the last seven weeks of his life. I not only saw part of my father, that in some respects I had taken for granted, but I also saw a man who truly loved people with scores of friends who in turn rallied behind him in his time of need. He showed us how to live and even how to die, and for that I will be forever grateful to him. He will always have a piece of my heart.

Dad’s legacy of faith, integrity, passion and perseverance will live on by continuing to bring you this magazine in his honor.

I want to thank his wonderful doctors, especially Dr. Mary Norman and Dr. Jeff Taylor and his ICU nurses and therapists at Baylor Regional Medical Center-Plano for their care, dedication and extraordinary compassion.

This remembrance was originally published in September 2007.

Photo by John Haynesworth; pictured: the late Em Niebes (middle row, right), with wife Joyce (top row, middle) and their grandchildren