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Ellen Emmons

Ellen K. Emmons (Kehne)

Monday, April 27th, 1931 - Sunday, December 22nd, 2019
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Obituary

Ellen K. Emmons completed her life of 88 years, passing peacefully on December 22, 2019. She was a truly special and unique person who lived a life of challenges and achievements, and who embraced the love of family, friends, and her late husband of 59 years who preceded her passing in 2011.

Her life story included many facets. In the early formative phase of her life, she grew up in a farmhouse in rural Maryland with no indoor plumbing, until her family moved to Buckeystown Maryland when she was an early teen. After graduating Frederick high school, she attended the University of Maryland where she was a contestant for the Miss Maryland competition and was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority (she became a life member). She received a BS degree in microbiology in 1952. Most importantly, while in college she met the love of her life, Wesley Emmons Jr., who was an art student at Maryland on the GI Bill scholarship after serving in WWII. Wesley, wanting a greater challenge in metalsmithing, transferred to the Philadelphia College of Art (now the UArts) and asked for her hand in marriage and to move to Philadelphia to start a life together.

The independence phase of her life started when she defied her parents’ objections and married Wesley (her parents totally boycotted the wedding), moved into a studio apartment in Philadelphia, and helped Wesley as he became a self-employed silversmith and jeweler. To help financially support their new life together she worked at Temple University doing microbiological research for the renowned Dr. Spaulding and even co-authored scientific publications in 1960. She also taught dancing for Arthur Murray Dance Studios part time for additional income.

Her renaissance and quasi-bohemian phase and lifestyle continued as they started a family. She and Wesley were amongst the rare few in 1959 and 1961 who insisted on non- anesthesia natural childbirth, having her husband and father-to-be in the delivery room for support, and she was an early advocate of natural nursing feeding as well.

In the self-actualization phase of her life, Ellen’s devotion to her husband and start-up business was voracious. As his jewelry creativity skills became recognized and the store grew, she devoted her life to both their family, as a stay home mother, and to Wesley Emmons Jewelry on 16th street in Center City. She and Wesley were center city pioneers and early leaders in the development of the Center City Association of Proprietors (CCAP) and the Center City Residence Association (CCRA). She also volunteered at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion for nearly 40 years serving on many committees to help the church’s mission.

Her personal passion was collecting novelties and antiques. She used to say, “if you have two of something, it’s a collection”. She loved collecting many things from pens to mirrors, from artistic eggs to chandeliers, from art to debutante tea cups. And of course, as the wife of a jeweler, her husband joked that she had the biggest jewelry box ever.

Anyone who knew Ellen will remember her for her large personality, great wit, elegance, passion for life, her smile, and for her love. She is survived by all those who have memories of her; two sons – Wesley III, MD and wife Beth; Hoyt Emmons, Sr and wife Kay; four grandchildren Gwen, Natalie, Hoyt II, and Marissa; and great grandchildren Benjamin and Scarlett.

In lieu of flowers, her ideals would be honored by contributions to the Wesley and Ellen Emmons Scholarship in Jewelry/Metalsmithing at the University of the Arts (www.uarts.edu), or the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communication (www.lc-hc.org/).

Condolences to the family may be posted at Mann-Slonaker funeral home’s website (www.mannslonakerfuneralhome.com). Interment services will be private at Mt Olivet Cemetery where she will be laid to rest with late husband and partner for eternity, Wesley Emmons, Jr..
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KW

Karen Watts

Posted at 08:23pm
I am the Pet Therapy Volunteer for Liberty Hospice. I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Ellen many times. Finnegan, my Russell Terrier, was always happy to see Ellen. She loved to have hime sit on her lap and many times they fell asleep together. Finn and i truly enjoyed our visits and we will both miss her. My sincere condolences to everyone who knew and loved Ellen. She was a very special lady.
The picture is from one of our last visits. They both were so relaxed and happy.
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