Emma- Jo Gruber
September 03, 1953 ‒ June 03, 2018
In the pool, in the middle of summer, sitting cross legged on a raft, reeds floating all around her as she weaved baskets…..that is how I will remember my beautiful, loving, hippie mother.
On Sunday, June 3, 2018, Emma-Jo passed away.
My overwhelming grief leaves me without words. As I sit on my porch, where mom loved to come and share coffee….or a damn Diet Coke, I struggle to write something that will encapsulate my mother, our mother, to the community, in her death.
Mom was full, so very full, of care and love for her children that it bled into love for the children of others. She mothered us all alike; her own and our friends. Her unconditional love for all of our friends taught us to build community. Family and friends all poured together under her watch.
Mom was an artist. She could draw and paint. Many of the toys we had were handmade by her. She was a woodworker and a seamstress. Our clothes were handmade by her. She painted faces on the china dolls she made, dolls that were adorned in lovely dresses, also made by her. If you needed a new skirt for a party at 7pm, you could pick a fabric from her stash in the basement at 5pm and she would hand you a new skirt to wear just in time.
Mom never thought anything was too precious for us. So, when I broke the china doll she made and lost a small piece from her head, mom glued her back together, carefully placing a silver gum wrapper where the missing piece should have been and then sewed a lacy bonnet to cover her broken skull.
Mom was very careful about our education. When school did not call a snow day, she called it for us and we spent the day playing the drifts and making hot chocolate. When we were learning about something particularly important to her that she thought better for us to see, she requested our school work for the week and piled us in the car to drive us to see for ourselves. When dad had business trips to towns with historic sites, she would rent a camp site instead of reserving a hotel for him and the whole family would tag along.
Mom could pack four kids and a camper faster than anyone I know and we’d be off for a weekend in the woods. Hiking, mom would put the Audubon books in our packs so we could look up all of the critters and trees we saw along the way. We hated that!
Mom was always our biggest fan. Even if you are still, today, playing and singing the same songs you learned on the piano in high school, she will look on, with pride-filled tears in her eyes. She will also nearly pee her pants watching as you sing and dance to Bohemian Rhapsody in the kitchen.
Mom laughed with us, mom also cried with us. She protected us. She reminded us what was really important when we were lost in the minutia of life.
Mom played, hiked, camped, boated, was a campfire girl troop leader, swam, made us stay outside until the street lights came on, made dolls, raised puppies, turtles, iguana, fish, kittens, and piranha, didn’t get mad when our friends got cake batter on the kitchen ceiling; she just loved us in everything we did and taught us how to live loving others.
Emma-Jo Gruber was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth William Gruber and Ellen Frances Gruber, and her son, Frank Richard Hamilton III. She is survived by her brother, George Kenneth Gruber, and children and niece, Frances-Jo Hamilton, Andrea Lynn Hecker and Kenneth William Gruber Hamilton, and grand daughter, Frances Marie Hamilton and nephews Daniel Joseph Wright and Connor Mathew Wright.
Memorial services celebrating Emma- Jo’s life will be held at a later date.
To share a fond memory or to leave a message of condolence please visit www.snyderfuneralhomes.com