Emma (Marion) Harris Setliff, affectionately known as "Mother" by many, passed into the arms of her Lord on March 17th 2014 at age 97 and 7 months. She was preceded in death by her parents Arthur Eugene Harris and Lillian Elizabeth (Sigenthaler) Harris, husband Thomas Ralph Setliff (April 27th, 1977), Sister Lillian (Harris) Christ, and daughter-in-law Mary Setliff. She is survived by her children Gail Setliff Bennett, Lynn Setliff and Guy Spencer Setliff, wife Brenda, and her "adopted" daughter Pat Baillie; as well as her grandchildren Thomas Spencer Setliff, wife Joy, Matthew Guy Setliff, wife Michelle, Leah (Setliff) White, husband Ethan, and Robert Thomas Setliff; and great-grandchild Christian David Setliff. Also survived by her nieces Emma (Christ) Bodien, husband Jim, their extended family and Ann Morgan. As well as an extended group of individuals whom were dear to her heart and considered as family. Emma was born at her home on Staten Island, NY on August 12th, 1916. She loved telling stories of the beautiful flowers her Pop used to raise in the garden, eating berries off the vines, and feeling sad when her Dad had to chase a chicken so they could have dinner. She graduated from Port Richmond High School, class of 1934, and was awarded the Art Students League Scholarship. After graduation, Emma worked several years for NY Life Insurance Company and for Sinclair Refining Company. She also worked for a time at Woolworth and was a member of the Pleasurette's among other social groups. During WWII, Emma volunteered her time at a canteen in Greenwich Village. There she met Thomas Ralph Setliff, a merchant marine from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They were married on June 5thth 1949 at the Church of the Ascension, Staten Island, NY. They moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1959 where they raised their three children in Melrose Park, Broward County. A favorite family memory was breakfast picnics on the beach at sunrise. After her children were grown, Emma volunteered many hours as a Pink Lady at Broward General Hospital and then Plantation General Hospital. She moved to Tamarac, Florida for a short time before later moving into Covenant Village where she enjoyed years of many good friendships and a happy social life. She especially loved her weekly craft classes where she created many beautiful gifts, including ceramic Christmas trees with colorful lights that we will treasure forever. In 2012, she moved to Buford, GA to live with her daughter, winning scrabble and sharing memories even into the final week of her life. Mother grew up in a non-tech era where friendships were personal and communication was by handwritten letters. She stayed close to many of her Staten Island friends- some of which she went to grade school with. Mother was the best cook in the world. She brought her delicious baked goods to school to share with her classmates; helped heal sick neighbors and family members with her roasts and cakes. She cooked many Thanksgiving meals for family, extended family and dear friends. When her husband's sister Terri Sue was struggling to work and care for her father, Mother cooked dinner every Sunday and carried it over to them on the city bus. Mother was an impeccably dressed career woman (hats and gloves) who was proud of her work and her well-earned promotions; a loving wife who still terribly missed "my Tommy"; a mother who loved her kids unconditionally; a grandmother who loved to brag about her grandkids; a young girl and a woman who loved the Lord and still talked about the "Girls Friendly Society"; a caring neighbor and someone who loved to build lifelong friendships. How do you begin to tell the story of someone who has lived a wonderful, beautiful 97 ½ years? To capture her life on a single page would be impossible but we will carry the love and the memories with us forever. We love you bunches and buckets Mother, Grandma you will always be in our hearts. Viewing will be held at Tm Ralph Funeral Home, 7001 N.W. 4th St. Plantation, FL, on Saturday March 22nd beginning at 10 a.m. with service at 12 Noon. Graveside service immediately following to take place at Lauderdale Memorial Park, 2001 S.W. 4th Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL. Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel 770-945-6924 Share memories of Emma at hamiltonmillchapel.com
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T.M. Ralph Funeral Homes - Plantation
7001 NW 4th St NW 70th Ave and NW 4th St
Plantation, FL 33317
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Mar. 20, 2014