In praise of an unsung heroine


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Posted September 25, 2020 |

Your article in the September 18 edition regarding the new HOME house in Belleview did an excellent job describing the mission of Diane Schofield and her team.  However, for those of us who knew and loved the donor of the house, Emma Jean Smith, the story was not complete.

I’m sure none of us ever thought of her as “an aged spinster” who left no heirs. Throughout her career she was a vibrant, caring teacher who influenced generations of students at Ocala and Forest High School. Her zest for living continued into her retirement years, and as a gracious hostess her dining room was often the place of laughter and good times.  Her house was filled with a lifetime of accumulated beautiful things she treasured.  Although she had no children, after her death her very special cousins spent months distributing it all and making sure Emma Jean’s final wishes were carried out.

How appropriate that Emma Jean Smith, who made a such a difference to so many young people during her lifetime, left a legacy that will continue for years to come.

Maxine Hume,
Ocala