We are all saddened by the loss of our beloved Isabel, yet joyful for the life she lived and the person she was to all of us. A memorial service in celebration of her life will be on May 17 at 4:00pm here at St. Nicholas. Immediately following the service, we will inter Isabel and her husband Charles’ ashes into our Memory Garden in a private family service of committal. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to St. Nicholas in her memory.
St. Nicholas member Bill Hogg offers a brief reflection of Isabel which captures her well. If anyone else has any reflections they want to publish here, please contact Fr. Jeff.
Memories of Isabel Emmerich.
In 1997, I was back-sliding, no doubt about it. I had not been to Church in Several years. Valerie had read about a new Episcopal Church trying to form in Harris County and they were temporarily meeting at the 7th Day Adventist Church in Pine Mountain Valley. We decided to visit, or to tell the truth, Valerie decided that we would visit. To this day, I am thankful that we did.
It was not even a formal service, more of a directed discussion. We met some wonderful people, but four in particular made a distinct impression on me and made me feel very welcome. They were Beverly McEachern, Florence Pace, Darby Luce and Isabel Emmerich. They are all gone now. I could share stories on all of these wonderful women, but I want to write this about Isabel.
Valerie and I were very active with St. Nicholas from the very start. We had both become L.E.M’s, both had been members of the Vestry and we pitched in and became involved on just about anything that went on there. Four years ago, we moved to Rocky Mount, NC. We were members of a wonderful Church there, St. Andrews, but we both missed our Church and friends from St. Nicholas.
Two years ago, I took a leap of faith and left a good job in North Carolina to return to this area. My first Sunday back, I really looked forward to going to Church. The person I most wanted to sit by was Isabel. When I talked to Valerie the night before, Isabel was the person she asked about. I did sit by Isabel, and got a little hug (Isabel was very proper) and a hand-shake. She asked about Valerie and wanted to know if we were back. I brought her up to date and told her our plans to try and relocate. She asked me if I was going to be at Church the next Sunday. I said yes, and she said that was good because she had something for me. The next Sunday came, and true to her word, Isabel handed me some folded papers, protected by a one gallon freezer bag. I curiously opened the bag and to my surprise found the Church Bulletin from the day that I was baptized at St. Nicholas. She told me she had saved it for me, because she thought I might like to have it some day. How like Isabel! Thoughtfulness and giving to others defined her.
A second memory is much more current. On a Sunday in early April, Isabel was seated in the second row, directly behind the children. During the sharing of the peace, Tai Jackson turned around, stuck his four year old hand out to Isabel and wished her peace. It was one of those moments where I wish I had a photograph. In fact, I can picture myself holding my hands out like a professional photographer and framing this picture. It was beautiful and will always be in my memory. I’m not sure that Tai fully understands the significance of sharing the peace, but I do know that he connected for that brief moment with Isabel. I can still see that connection and the faces on both. There was definitely love and caring going both directions. Perhaps it was also prophetic, one of our youngest members reaching out to our oldest. I know exactly where Isabel is now, and the Peace of the Lord will always be with her.