Emma Jane Delbridge, one of my wife’s great-great grandmothers, died on 5 October 1948 at the age of 87. She lived her entire life in Devonshire, England, having been born in the town of Berrynarbor and passing away in Woolacombe.
Emma’s first marriage was to Philip Pile in about 1882. He was 57-years-old builder and surveyor, and was 37 years older than Emma. Philip passed away in 1895, only 13 years after their marriage. Emma and Philip had five children: Philip Jr, Cyrus Archibald, Hannah, Mary, and Olive. Three years after she was widowed, in 1898, Emma married William Jonathan Dyer whose profession is listed in the 1901 census as a “carriage proprietor”, which I assume to mean he owned a business that involved horse-drawn carriages (see the census thumbnail below). Emma and Jonathan had two children: John and Elsie.
Presented here is Emma’s obituary. It is unique among other obituaries I’ve seen in that, beyond the first three or four paragraphs, it is comprised almost entirely of notes of remembrance, words we might expect to find written on cards that accompany flower arrangements or scribbled on a sympathy note that was passed around the office. “Deepest sympathy,” several of them say. “Deep devotion to grandma,” states another. The one from my wife’s grandmother reads, “To dear grandma, with happy memories, from Mary, Greta, Phil, and Dick.” The great multitude of notes and remembrances also makes this one of the longest obituaries we are likely to see and is a comforting reminder of the many lives that Emma touched.