Updated Dec. 23
Emma Hall, 22, is being remembered as a young woman who loved music, had a knack for baking, and enjoyed working with kids so much from her days as a nanny that she was pursuing a career in early childhood education.
On the night of Dec. 19, Hall’s life was tragically cut short in a head-on collision on Beach Road. Two of Hall’s friends who were also in the car with her sustained injuries.
Those who knew Hall, who graduated with honors from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 2017, remember her as a bright young woman with a great sense of humor.
One of Hall’s closest friends, Lauryn Bond, remembers Hall’s baking talents and her ear for good music like Beyoncé and Erykah Badu.
“We were always listening to music,” Bond said. “She had such a crazy taste in music, and you couldn’t get in her car without at least knowing, like, one Beyoncé song, because she loved everything about Beyoncé.”
Bond first met Hall while the two were freshmen at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. But it wasn’t until their junior year that the two became close. “I’m not even sure how it happened, because we were so different, but we just kind of clicked,” Bond said.
Bond ended up moving to Tennessee their senior year of high school, but the two stayed close. Bond came back to the Island to go to Hall’s senior ball as her date. Hall would frequently send care packages to Bond with gifts, and she would also send cards on holidays.
“There was never a time when we weren’t blasting music or laughing,” Bond said while laughing. “She’s really creative, and she had this stationery, she’s kind of like a little old lady with that kind of stuff.”
The two were also planning on Hall visiting Tennessee after the pandemic — especially to see a Dolly Parton rooftop bar.
“All this other stuff we were just excited to do. She was just really fun, and I was alway learning new stuff, no matter how long we had been friends,” Bond said. “She was a very great and beautiful person. What a beautiful soul. Very caring, and loved her friends.”
Molly Carroll, who was one of the passengers in the car the night of the accident, said one of her favorite memories of Emma was at a Harry Styles concert at the TD Garden in Boston.
“[Emma] was on the floor with my sister and I and another friend, and my mom was in the nosebleed section, and Emma looked up to my mom and yelled at the top of her lungs, ‘Hi Carol!’ and my mom could hear her all the way from the nosebleed section of TD Garden,” Carroll wrote in a text message to The Times. “That just reminds me how much Emma was so funny, and so loud in the best way, and so bright.”
Kendall Robinson, a close friend of Hall’s sister, Charlotte, worked with Hall at Project Headway’s summer camp. “I was happily on the receiving end of your baked goods and crafts that you always sent home with my mom. To the Hall family, thank you for always welcoming me into your home when my dad would forget me at Girl Scouts; it goes to show just how amazing this family is,” Robinson wrote in part. “Emma always had a way to bring light and joy to everyone around her. I will always remember Emma for that outstanding laugh and smile that she always carried around with her wherever she’d go.
“It is such a shame this incredible family is going through so much pain and heartache due to someone’s stupidity, but I encourage us all to honor Emma and her beauty and take the spotlight off of the person who caused this tragedy. Miss Emma, you have an amazing family that will continue your legacy of being extremely caring, loving and generous. I am so honored to have known you and shared many moments with you from a very young age. To your sisters, Sarah and Charlotte, I know Emma admired you both dearly. To Helen and Peter, you raised three amazing children and I will forever hold a place for your family in my heart.”
Erin Mason, who roomed with Hall for a semester at Stonehill College, said she had never felt so “cosmically connected” to someone after only a few minutes of meeting them. They also bonded over a similar taste in music and sense of humor.
“On more than one occasion, an RA knocked on our door to tell us to quiet down because people could hear us laughing and bellowing from all the way down the hall. I could rarely do homework in the room because Emma was the best distraction ever,” Mason wrote. “In the past few days, I keep finding that Emma is embedded in most facets of my life. She’s in the music I listen to, the shih tzu I see walking down the street, the things that make me laugh and I want to send her, and the rays of sunlight that pork through the clouds when I’m standing back on the beach and thinking about her. She’s even in my sock drawer— probably half of my socks were given to me by ehr as gifts. I love and miss her so very much.”
Mason added that Emma’s life was a reminder to live colorfully and remain true to who you are.
Samuel Oslyn, a friend of the Hall family, wrote that Emma was known for her laugh.
“Emma was everybody’s little sister. I’m sure I won’t be the first person to write to you about her unbelievable laugh. Emma had a textbook ‘belly laugh,’ the kind that got you a little weak in the knees, a little red in the face, a little teary in the eye. You had to avoid eye contact for minutes afterward to avoid a relapse,” Oslyn wrote. “I won’t go overboard with every story I could tell you about Emma. I’m a hairstylist, and last summer I had the honor of styling all of the Hall womens’ hair for Sarah’s wedding, the eldest daughter. Emma was unique among her sisters for her ferocious curls. We spent many afternoons on the back porch discussing curly hair theory, dreaming about dying her hair pink, recovering from belly laughs. I know it was important to Emma that her family was together to celebrate her older sister that day, and to have been a part of those most intimate moments, I will cherish forever.”
Sammi Chaves, who is also close with Charlotte, wrote in an email to The Times that the Halls are a loving, hardworking family. “When I️ last saw Charlotte during a socially-distanced catch-up in June, I learned she would be spending some more time on MV and would be living with her parents and Emma for the summer. Looking back, it is amazing to know that despite the challenges COVID-19 has posed this year, the Halls were able to spend more time together as a family. I imagine this is something they will always cherish,” Chaves wrote. “Emma, I️ am grateful to know you and to even have been able to share a college campus with you. You surely grew up so much during your time at Wheaton and it was inspiring to watch your perseverance as you continued to find your passion. Thank you for your many wonderful contributions to the Island. You will be forever in our hearts and surely never forgotten.”
Christian and Ann Marie Everdell remembered Emma for her warm personality and responsibility caring for their children.
“The kids always loved when Emma would come over. I recall when she first started, she was still in high school. She wanted to make the time with the kids special, so she brought over a selection of the movies she loved most when she was younger and had the girls pick which one they wanted to watch. They loved it. It was such a lovely thought. We also saw how close she was with her sisters and her family. We will miss her deeply. And our heart goes out to her family,” The Everdells wrote.
Lynn Everdell, another family friend, also wrote that Emma had a fabulous sense of humor.
“She showered my family and children (including canine) with love and attention and being around her just made you feel so good. We are so thankful to have had her in our lives, even if it was too short a time,” she wrote.
MVRHS teacher Chris Baer, who knew Hall not only as a student, but as a babysitter for his son and dog sitter for his pets, said she was an “honest and earnest” student, as well as a talented baker. “She would take care of our dogs sometimes when we were away. We would often come back and she would’ve baked very sophisticated, complex cookies and left them for us. Decorated, and each one different. She was a very talented baker, among other things,” Baer said.
Baer also said the other two young women involved in the crash were “wonderful students,” and wished them well. “They are all super-sweet, conscientious kids,” Baer said.
Elaine Weintraub, another of Hall’s former teachers, said Hall was particularly proud of her Irish heritage, and joined Weintraub and other students on a high school junior class trip to Ireland. “She was a wonderful, wonderful girl. She was bright,” Weintraub said. “Opinionated, funny, able to stand up for herself, full of ideas, artistically talented … this is a terrible loss.”
A photo of Hall and Weintraub during the Ireland trip sits on display in Weintraub’s home. Hall printed the photo and had it framed as a gift to Weintraub.
“She loved everything,” Weintraub said. “A very loving girl.”
Hall left quite the impression on her K-8 teachers at the Oak Bluffs school as well. Oak Bluffs school assistant principal Carlin Hart shared Hall’s “scroll” with The Times. Scrolls are given to students once they graduate and head to high school. Hall’s scroll was filled with anecdotes, stories, inside jokes, and kind words from several educators at the school.
“Ok, I hope you realize how amazing you are. It is rare to find someone that is as multi-talented as you,” a note from Leah Dorr says.
Hall was also known for love of reading.
“Every year I review the 8th graders’ library accounts in June to see who’s checked out the most books during their years at the OB School. This year it was practically a tie: you’ve checked out 403 books during your nine years at the Oak Bluffs School,” librarian Lynn Van Auken wrote.
Hall was also known for her volunteer work with the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair, where she and her sister, Charlotte, worked behind the scenes and as livestock judges, according to the family’s obituary.
“Our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of Emma Hall. Emma and her family are longtime volunteers at the annual Agricultural Fair, and we will miss her bright smile and engaging personality. She represented the very best of the next generation of young leaders on the Island. We will dedicate this year’s fair to Emma, and will honor her there. We send our condolences to Emma’s family and friends,” Agricultural Society board members wrote in an email to The Times. “The Island has lost a shining star.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to support the Hall family. To donate, visit bit.ly/EmmaHallMV. In less than 24 hours, the page has raised $20,820—surpassing its $20,000 goal.
Updated with additional comments from family and friends. — Ed.