Elvis Remembered 30 Years Later

August 16, 2007 - Posted at 5:47 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO/MEMPHIS-On Wednesday night a sea of candles illuminated the sky as thousands of Elvis fans descended upon Graceland to remember the King of Rock and Roll.

On this day of his death, the lines to pass through his home and memorial cemetary were endless, despite the heat.

"It feels like it's 200 degrees out here, but I'm not moving. I'm here to see Graceland and celebrate 30 years, and that's what I'm going to do," said Denise Theadosis from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Even his former wife Priscilla spoke of Elvis' charm.

"Elvis had the most contagious laughter. Once he started laughing that was it. Everyone would start laughing. Sometimes it was uncontrollable. He couldn't stop. He laughed over the silliest things. He just had a great sense of humor, loved to have fun, and he loved to play games," said Presley.

But his death could be remembered best by a Jonesboro man who was one of the first in the world to get the word of Elvis' death.

J.R. Emerson of Emerson Ambulance and Funeral Home remembers the call he got from two of his paramedics 30 years ago.

"They were over there, and were taking their stretcher back out to load it up, when the Memphis Fire Department arrived with what turned out to be Elvis Presley. They watched them unload him, and Steve Dosier went directly to the phone and called me," said Emerson.

While at first he was shocked, Emerson knew his employees wouldn't make up news like this.

"I knew Steve and Tim weren't going to turn me wrong. I thought, it's unusual to get that report, but to think...it's still amounting to something thirty years later," said Emerson.

And as the world pauses to remember The King 30 years later, Emerson says it was his attitude that kept him a celebrity, even after death.

"He cared about his parents, he cared about his friends, and he did things for other people, more than people know about," said Emerson.

Today, Elvis would be 72-years-old if he was still alive.

Every year more than a million people visit Graceland to pay tribute.

Official Elvis Websites include:  Elvis.com and ElvisWeek.com

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com