Emma Carmichael died Wednesday morning, May 13, 2015, after a brief illness. She turned 90 on Jan. 15, and lived a marvelous life, and now joins her beloved husband, Jere M. Carmichael, who was buried on Father’s Day in 1981.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1925, Emma was brought to the Vineyard in 1929 by her parents, Robert and Emma Crowell. She spent every summer on East Chop, and moved there from Milton in June of 1972.
After attending the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, she went to work as a medical secretary in an office in Boston. It was there that the nephew of the doctor, Jere Malcolm Carmichael, who was attending Tufts following his tour in Alaska during WW II, asked if it was permissible to ask the secretary out for a date. Not taking no for an answer, they did date, and were married on Sept. 11, 1948. Nordell, the first of a succession of six dachshunds in their lives, was a wedding present.
The couple moved to Milton, where they raised daughters Emma Lee and Anne Paige. Summers on the Chop were filled with tennis at the East Chop Tennis Club, beach time at the East Chop Beach club, many games of bridge, and hours spent on porches during cocktail hour.
Emma’s life on the Vineyard touched many circles. She worked as a medical secretary, managed the office at Felix Neck for Gus Ben David, and, after Jere died, she took over his job and worked in real estate sales and rentals on East Chop through Towne and Country Realty. She was still doing that job until she died. She was the No. 1 fan at all MVRHS field hockey games, and devoted to Felix Neck and all of the people who affectionately called her Aunt Em or their Vineyard Mom.
She is survived by her daughters, Emma Lee (Carmichael) Hunsaker and her husband James P. Hunsaker Jr., and Anne Paige Carmichael Lemenager. She cherished the time with her grandsons Peter C. Hunsaker, his wife Claudia, and their children Mila and Edward, and Philip M. Hunsaker, his wife Emily, and their daughter Frances. She is also survived by her step-granddaughter Mary Beth L. Carstens, her husband Joel and their daughter Claire.
There will be a celebration of her life at the East Chop Tennis Club in late July. Donations in her memory may be made to Mass Audubon at Felix Neck, P.O. Box 494, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.