ALAMEDA, Calif. — Emily R. Hirst, born Feb. 13, 1911, died peacefully on April 1, 2013, in Alameda, Calif., and joined her beloved husband, William R. Hirst,  M.D., who preceded her in death in October 1997.

She and her husband grew up in small farming communities outside of Bloomington and met in college at Illinois Wesleyan where her husband worked his way through college playing clarinet and saxophone in popular bands and Emily majored in music.

They married and moved to Chicago where Dr. Hirst attended medical school at Northwestern University and Emily worked to support his attendance. Following his graduation and internship they lived in Pueblo, Colo., where Dr. Hirst practiced medicine until he was drawn into the Navy and assigned to various posts in California and Hawaii. They never left California and lived in Alameda, Calif., since 1948.

In addition to being a wonderful homemaker and cook, Emily was an accomplished pianist, oil and watercolor artist, as well as a good golfer and a dedicated gardener. Emily was very active until recently in the First Congregational Church of Alameda, having played piano for and sung in the choir of the church for many years. Her sons are thankful for and appreciate the friendship and support church members provided to her in the last several years.

In particular, Emily enjoyed the company of family and friends over many years of her life. She always looked forward to playing golf (having been a member over the years of Alameda Municipal golf course, Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, Calif., and Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, Calif.), golf junkets, visits to the family’s cabins near Mount Lassen and travel and visits to family in Central Illinois.

She was a very special lady and will be greatly missed by all who knew her and never forgotten by family members. The family appreciates the care provided her by Elders Inn of Alameda, Calif., and by Vitas Hospice Care.

Emily is survived by her three sons, William (Fran) Hirst, Pleasanton, Calif.; John (Noel) Hirst, Hayward, Calif.; and James (Carolyn) Hirst, Santa Rosa, Calif.; her grandchildren, Ted Hirst, Chico, Calif.; Dan (Theresa) Hirst, San Diego, Calif.; Erin Hirst, Pleasant Hill, Calif.; Steve (Alanna) Hirst, Danville, Calif.; Karina Hirst, San Diego, Calif.; and Micah (Navak) Loucks, Austin, Texas; and great-grandchildren, Maxwell, Jack, Evan, Kyle, Shayda and Arman. She is also survived by her niece, Nadine Reining, and the Reining family of  Stanford.

Burial will be attended by family only at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, Calif. A public memorial service will be at 11 a.m. April 20 at First Congregational Church, 1912 Chestnut St., Alameda, Calif., followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Institute or First Congregational Church of Alameda, Calif.

Greer Family Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. For more information, call 510-865-3755.

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