MacLachlan, Emily L.
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Emily Louise MacLachlan, 93, died at her home in Westport on Sunday, July 27, surrounded by her three children.
She was born in Lancaster, OH, May 22, 1921, oldest daughter of Albert and Emily Steiner. She attended St. Mary of the Springs Academy in Columbus and was an honors graduate of Trinity College in Washington where she was a vice president of Student Government.
Emily served three years in the United States Navy (WAVES), attaining the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade and joined the State Department after WWII. Admitted to The Ohio State University Law School, she elected instead to work in the Foreign Service Branch of the State Department in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, she worked in the U.S. Embassy in China where she was among the last Americans to leave Shanghai when Mao came to power. Transferred to Iran, she met and married her husband, Robert MacLachlan, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who was with British Petroleum. There the couple celebrated four weddings - in the Roman Catholic Church; American Embassy; British Embassy; and (local custom) Muslim celebration. The couple lived initially in Abadan, Iran, on the Persian Gulf then, upon transfer to the United States, in River Edge and Oradell, NJ. While her husband was with Mobil Oil, the family lived in England and France, eventually settling in Westport in 1969.
She was a parishioner of St. Luke Catholic Church for many years, and a longtime volunteer of the Soup Kitchen in Norwalk. A member of the Westport Women's Club, she was a competitive bridge player and member of The Westport Longshore Women's Golf Association. An avid gardener as well as an artist for many years, she worked in oil as well as watercolor, painting local scenes as well as numerous others depicting her travels throughout Asia, Africa, Indonesia, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
She loved Westport and its cultural offerings and cherished her frequent drives through Longshore and Compo Beach. An enthusiastic follower of current events, she read The New York Times daily from cover to cover until failing eyesight relegated her to a high-definition reading machine and iPad updates from loved ones.
Known to her friends as "Emmy Lou," she is survived by her son, Robert Gordon MacLachlan, of Cincinnati, OH; oldest daughter, Mary Ann MacLachlan, of Westport; Emily Balch, of LaGrange, IL; five grandchildren; and one great grandchild. She is predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Robert Hector MacLachlan, a former Westport P&Z commissioner for 11 years.
There will be a funeral Mass in her honor on Friday, August 1, at 2 p.m. at St. Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road in Westport. Donations may be made in Emily's name to The American Macular Degeneration Foundation.
Published in Westport News from July 30 to Aug. 1, 2014