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Emile Joyce McIntosh

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Emile Joyce McIntosh Obituary
McIntosh, Emile Joyce (Abbott)
The main thing you have to know about Emile is that she was LOVE, which she shared in all its manifestations. Certainly there was the private romantic love we enjoyed over our 55 years together. That love was almost overshadowed by a fierce maternal love for her children, grandchildren and new great-grandson. There was also her love of the creative process, expressed throughout her life in music, in the workplace, and later in making of functional and decorative pottery. Emile loved nature, savoring the solitude of wild places, but also the joy, and work of home gardens. So, how do you honor the sweet, spicy personality of your lifetime love? How do you convey the love, the strength, the quirks and spirit of the best thing that ever happened to you? How do you cope with the feeling that part of you is missing? For now, I and the family can only continue to live each day as if Emile were still with us in the bloom of health, and take comfort in knowing her spirit can breathe again, freed of the deadly grip of pulmonary hypertension that took her on December 18, 2015. She was adamant there be no memorial service, but did allow she would not mind a nice obituary notice. Emile was born on September 2, 1940 in Sacramento, CA to Edwin and Josephine Abbott, both gone too soon. We first met in Sunday school in the early elementary grades, and as we continued to attend the church through high school I became more aware of her wit and conscientious attention to the leadership responsibilities she took on. She excelled in school, earning honors in Speech and Drama, was a Science Fair winner, and the Valedictorian of her graduating class, with continued success at Sacramento State College. But eventually, love grew and we married in the same church on November 26, 1960. By 1965, our little family was complete. Daughter Kathy Clark (Ethan) and grand-daughter Erin live in the East Valley. Son Michael (Tricia) McIntosh and grand-daughters Amelia McIntosh, Hannah Nelson (Nick), and great-grandson Noah, live in Aberdeen, WA. Emile has one remaining sister, Gayle Beevers (Brian) in Delaware. In 1970 we moved to Portland, OR where her love of piano and guitar landed her a job as a music teacher in a local school. The school district liked her so much they asked her to take a new position as an educational researcher, which she did part time. Emile also volunteered as a docent at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, where she was in demand for school trips as the volunteer who was happy to have Boaz, the museum's eight foot long boa constrictor, come out of his cage and wrap around her so the kids could touch and feel the power of the snake. In 1975 we moved to Anchorage, AK where Emile immersed herself and the family in outdoor activities, cross-country skiing in the winter, backpacking in the summer. There were memorable trips hiking the Chilkoot Trail, in the Wrangell's and White Mountains. She was active in the Mountaineering Club of Alaska, leading trips and publishing the newsletter. She found time to volunteer at the Anchorage Zoo and invest lots of time in supporting the kid's sports activities. 1981 found us in Seattle, WA where we enjoyed many weekend trips, skiing and hiking at Mount Rainier. 1984 took us to Washington, D.C., experiencing life on the East Coast. Shortly after we settled into our home in Virginia, Emile struck up a conversation with a woman about a movie, while returning a rental video tape. It turned out the woman was the district manager of the chain of video stores and was thinking of closing that store for poor sales. One thing led to another, and the next week Emile was managing the store. In eighteen months she took the store from 38th out of 40 in sales, to number two for the entire chain of stores, a tribute to her personality, great customer service and killer management chops. That experience morphed into probably her favorite job, managing the trade book section (everything but text books) at a large college book store. She increased the positive cash flow of the section by over 50% by combining her love of books, love of merchandising- and she absolutely adored working with the college kids as co-workers and as customers. In 1989 we returned to Portland, Oregon where she took on increasingly responsible positions at the local headquarters of a large insurance company. We used our spare time to travel the state, and dote on the grandkids. In 1996, after falling in love with the Sonoran Desert, we settled in the Gold Canyon area, where Emile loved the wide variety of plant, animal and bird life, although she insisted on view fencing, to keep the animals out of the yard. It wasn't long before the creative impulse took over and Emile's pottery creations became Superstition Mountain Pottery, a home-based studio. Emile loved to plan (and worry) about being ready to open our home studio on a dozen annual artist's studio tours, and at other venues. She treasured talking with visitors and customers, discussing the creative process, and showing people around the yard, pointing out the variety plant life she tended. Sadly, during the past year the pulmonary hypertension took her breath and stamina away and she was unable to carry on with activities which had given her so much pleasure. If you wish to honor Emile's memory, please consider making a donation to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, www. PHA.com. Rest in peace, dear Emile, you will be in our hearts forever, Pierce, Kathy and Mike McIntosh.


Published in The Arizona Republic from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2016
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