Emily Millard Hogan was born in Red Tank, Panama, on August 19, 1915 to John and Gladys Hogan who had emigrated from Barbados to Panama. She attended the Red Tank School and later apprenticed as a tailor and mastered the trade of making and altering garments. She later married Clarence Watts and together they had one child, a daughter named, Marsha. When Emily and Clarence divorced, she came to the United States to join her two sisters who had preceded her to this country. Emily’s life was not easy and she endured many hardships as she settled into life in America, but she never complained or asked for help. She took a job as a domestic worker in order to provide for herself and daughter. Soon thereafter she got a job at Raytheon Company in Waltham. Emily used the skills she learned as a tailor’s apprentice to supplement her income. She sewed and made alterations for others. She could sew and make anything. Each Easter her daughter and niece were outfitted in the very best of Easter outfits. Emily had many talents, she learned the art of Bonsai, which is training and growing dwarf plants in containers; she learned to garden, knit, macramé and to crochet; and she was an excellent cook. Her family was happy to be the beneficiaries of her various talents.
She was petite, stylish, confident, stern and forceful but she was also generous and loved a good laugh. She lived a full and meaningful life. She loved the Red Sox and at times could be heard yelling “strike” from the stands at Fenway Park. She also volunteered at a housing center for the elderly in Roslindale after she retired. Emily was also a member of the Church of Holy Spirit since the 80's and for some time served as the head of the Altar Guild.
Emily survived the Covid-19 under the care of the doctors, nurses and staff at Hebrew Senior Life where she resided for the last year and a half of her life. Her crowning moment came when at the height of the pandemic, she was on the cover of the Metro section of the Boston Globe on August 20, 2020 in celebration of her 105th birthday. Emily showed the world her strength and resolve. The celebration took place in the parking lot of the nursing home and was attended by family and friends.
The oldest of ten, she leaves behind her beloved youngest sister, Norma Gray; her daughter, Marsha Netter; grandsons Andre (Patricia) and Shaun Netter; great-grandchildren Melanie Gonzalez (Ricardo), Tiffany Stewart (Ryan), Christopher, Ariana and Amin Netter and a great-great-grandson Noah Stewart along with a host of nieces, nephews and extended family and friends scattered all over the world.
Rest in peace, Emily.
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