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Celebrated Centenarian – Evelyn Emanuel

written by: Weyman Perry and Danielle Grabol

Evelyn Emanuel was born on October 6, 1915, in Scranton, PA. She was one of three girls in her family and she was the middle daughter. They moved to the Virginia Beach area when she was very young and that is where she spent most of her life.

When Evelyn graduated from high school, the country was just coming out of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce and there certainly wasn’t money available for many people to attend college. She worked for a while for a group of four attorneys and she had a job selling maps over the telephone. Most of her adult life, however, was spent being a wife and mother.

She married Philip Emanuel in 1935 and was married to him for 52 years before he passed away in 1987. Mrs. Emanuel shared wonderful memories of her five plus decades of marriage and spoke of the enjoyment of traveling to many places around the world like the Orient and Hawaii.

Evelyn has three children:

  • Martin, a retired college professor at Atlanta College of Art, who lives in Decatur
  • Mark, an attorney, who lives in Smyrna
  • Ann, a retired school principal, who lives in Virginia.

Four grandchildren and six great grandchildren spanning in ages from 7 months to 21 years old round out the family.

Mrs. Emanuel has a great love for the beach. She says,

“I am convinced that living most of my life on the beach has a lot to do with my living a long, healthy life.”

She has always remained active both physically and mentally. About eight years ago she came to Atlanta for a week to visit her two sons. It was her birthday and the flight attendant was informed of that and the entire plane sang happy birthday to her. That was special too. She came for a week and never returned to Virginia! She has lived in the Decatur area ever since and has loved living close to family.

Every day Evelyn attempts the daily word jumble and crossword puzzle in the paper. She shares that she and her Personal Care caregiver, Lorine, help each other if they get stumped. Mrs. Emanuel commented on how helpful Lorine has been to her daily routine and also she spoke of how fond she is of her primary care physician – Dr. Larry Ray.

Mrs. Emanuel has an infectious laugh – and she laughs a lot. Her daughter, Ann, responds that her Mother never complains and that she is easy to please. Mrs. Emanuel says that she guesses her overall philosophy for living a fulfilling, long life is to “remain physically active, use your brain a lot and always laugh a lot.” It certainly works for her.