Jan. 11, 1928-Nov. 17, 2012
"Remember to take time for leisure"
Emily Haddad Smith Stevenson passed peacefully in early morning hours of November 17, 2012 at Golden Apricot Manor in Whittier. She was born on January 11, 1928 in Nogales, Arizona to Joseph Haddad Smith and Esther Grijalva Lopez. She cherished her Mexican and Lebanese heritage, a wonderful blend of two different, yet similar cultures focused on faith, family and friends.
She moved to Whittier at a young age and graduated from Whittier High School in 1946. Emily graduated from Whittier College in 1950 with a BA in Economics.
Emily was one of the Founders of the Ionian Society in 1948 at Whittier College and served as its President in the fall of her senior year. She presided over activities such as selling apples to WSSF, pledging 100% to the Stadium Drive, making stuffed animals for orphanages and giving Christmas baskets to families in need. She also served as a "Sponsor" for incoming freshman during the summer prior to their first semester.
She met her future husband, Warren Allen Stevenson, in a college history class when she grabbed his dictionary without asking. They were seated alphabetically! Emily and Warren were married on August 27, 1950 and were together until Warren passed on October 2, 2007. They had three children, Alan, David and Suzanne. Emily once wrote to her children: "I could not have reared you, Dave and Sue without my deep spiritual foundation as my guide; and I'm grateful that all three of you embraced it, in your own respective way."
Emily worked part-time as a substitute teacher in Whittier for many years so she could focus her time and energy on rearing her three children. She took postgraduate courses at Whittier College to further her teaching career. Emily also served as the Candy Striper Coordinator at Whittier Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital for several years. In all her years in Southern California, she never drove the LA freeways, choosing instead to take surface streets. She always arrived at her destination!
She attended Mass every Sunday at St. Bruno's and enjoyed her time at the East Whittier Women's Club. Emily always started her day with "café con leche." She loved parties, travel, long walks, caligraphy, celebrations, painting, reading, listening to music, her potluck group, quiet time for reflection and was a talented letter writer. She will always be remembered for her goodness, kindness, loyalty, fun, clowning, teasing, sense of wonder, deep spirituality and love of life.
Emily is survived by her three children, Alan Stevenson and his wife Gayle of Sun Valley, Idaho; David Stevenson and his wife Debbie of Brea, California; Suzanne Roberts of Whittier, California and seven grandchildren who miss their "Nonnie." She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and three brothers.
Thank you, Mother Emily, always, for coming our way! God Bless you. Lovingly, Your Children, Alan, David and Suzanne.
We'd like to thank Nina and the staff at Golden Apricot Manor for caring for our Mother for the past five years. A special thanks also, to a dear family friend, Dr. Jim Rogers for caring for both of our parents.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Bruno's Catholic Church, 15740 Citrustree, Whittier CA 90603 at 9:30 am on Saturday, December 1st. A luncheon celebration of Emily's life will follow at the East Whittier Women's Club, 14148 2nd St., Whittier, CA 90605. A private interment will be held on Monday, December 3rd, at Rose Hills Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Whittier College, East Whittier Women's Club, Whittier Library or a