Emma Pritchett Jewell, 81, Duke University grad and tireless church volunteer

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Emma Pritchett Jewell.
Emma Pritchett Jewell.

On Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, Emma Pritchett Jewell, of Wilmington, made her spiritual ascension and is now in a much better, heavenly place. She was 81 years old. She died at home, surrounded by her loving family, due to complications resulting from the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases she endured for more than eight years.

She was born on May 25, 1934.

She is survived by her adoring husband of 59 years, Dr. E. Smith (Smitty) Jewell and her three children, Grier Hurley and her husband Ben, Lee Jewell, and Dr. Wilson O. Jewell and his wife Christy, all of whom loved her deeply and will cherish the memories they have with her forever. She is further survived as a grandmother and great-grandmother to four wonderful young adults, Jennifer DeSpain and her husband Justin, Will Hurley, Kathryn and Alex Jewell; along with two great great-grandchildren, Savannah and Joseph Cary. She is also survived by her sister, Nancy Pritchett Miles. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, L.W. and Lois Pritchett, and her brother Jack Pritchett.

Her presence will be missed, but now is a time of absence and for the announcement therof.

Emma was well-educated, having graduated as valedictorian at Walter Williams High School in 1952 before going on to attend Duke University, where she majored in math and graduated in 1956. After graduating Duke and marrying Smitty in 1956, she worked in the accounting department for North Carolina Memorial Hospital.

In 1958, she and Smith moved to Wilmington, where he began practicing dentistry. Between then and her firstborn child in 1961, she continued to focus on numbers by working for an accounting firm in Wilmington.

Emma lived a very full and satisfying life. Besides her children and husband, there was nothing more important to her than her work at Winter Park Presbyterian Church. She was constantly participating in its activities, willing to do anything to help in the growth and health of its congregation. She was a circle chairman. She was an elder and a deacon. She was the director of Summer Bible School and president of the Women of the Church. She taught Bible studies and took care of the nursery when her own children were young. She always participated in the Joy Gift Program every Christmas, and she sang in the choir for nearly 50 years.

Her three children were the most important part of her life; the light, as they say, of her existence. She and Smitty raised, loved and supported their children in their chosen careers as a lawyer, a dentist and a flight attendant.

Now is the time for the unending absence that follows the death of a loved one, but we will triumph in our grief as a family, together, just as she would’ve wanted. She was a wife first, but she was also our mother, our sister and our friend.

A memorial service will be held in her honor at Winter Park Presbyterian Church at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, followed by a visitation with the family at Chadbourne Hall immediately after the service.

Memorial gifts may be sent to Winter Park Presbyterian Church, 4501 Wrightsville Ave., Wilmington, NC, 28403.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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