Emily C. KingMarch 10, 1947 ~ July 5, 2017 (age 70)
Emily Carmela Smith was born in Philadelphia in 1947, a daughter to a first generation Italian mother and Pennsylvania Dutch father. She was the oldest of four girls. At age ten, her father abandoned the family, leaving the four girls and their mom to support themselves. Emily remembers standing in line for “government cheese and powdered eggs” and that milk was too expensive a treat for her mother to provide. In her final days, a cold glass of milk was her most common request.
Emily excelled in all academic subjects. Her science teacher held her after class one day, advising her, “Smitty, you need to go to college.” But she put the needs of the family first; she went into the workforce instead to help her mother support her sisters.
David and Emily met in 1966. David, an Army draftee on a weekend pass, stopped by a South Philly bowling alley for a snack. Emily, her sisters and a cousin were bowling and invited Dave to join them. Emily and Dave began dating, and upon Dave’s completion of military service in Germany in 1968 they married and moved to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. There they had two children, Lisa and Michael. Now the family includes six grandchildren.
Emily was talented artistically as well as academically. She painted in oils, pastels and watercolor, and taught oil painting classes at a nearby florist shop. She also was a gifted creative writer. She has published children’s and young-adult books, and made contributions to Oregon Business Journal as a freelance journalist. Her latest book was published just a few weeks before her passing.
For over 25 years, Emily and David faithfully served in their church’s children’s ministry each Wednesday night. Emily also led Bible studies and produced their church bulletin for many years. As her passion was to reach each person with the good news of the gospel of Christ, she had an eternal impact on the lives of so many.