Emily Brewster Frelinghuysen Bates Douglas passed away on Saturday, Aug. 27 in Fort Myers after bravely living with ovarian cancer for three years. Emily was born to Victoria Frelinghuysen and John Grenville Bates, Jr. on July 14, 1933.
Emily’s life will continue to be celebrated by her children Emily Frelinghuysen Douglas (Gary Artim), Susan Douglas Ryan (Tom), Damon Greenleaf Douglas (Therese Ross), and David Deuel Douglas (Suzannah Kincannon); grandchildren Mia Star Douglas, Douglas Denis Ryan, Will Damon Ryan, Satchel Brewster Douglas, Drummond Dominguez-Kincannon, Tulsa Fallon Douglas, and Ella Kipling Douglas; siblings Anita Bates Glasson (Owen) and Joseph Sherman Frelinghuysen Bates (Pam) and the Francisco family, E. Bond, Susan, and Doug. Emily joins her former husband of 42 years, Damon Greenleaf Douglas, Jr., sister- and brother-in-law Sally Douglas and Edwin B. Francisco, and brother John Grenville Bates, III on the other side.
A graduate of Kent Place (1950) and Cornell (1954), Emily proceeded to earn a Masters in Special Education. After several years as a stay-at-home mother, she taught reading to struggling learners at school districts in Ulster County, N.Y. She loved her business – Emily’s Gardens – and found joy in creating beautiful landscapes in Fairfield and Westchester counties.
Emily had a keen eye for the beauty in the world. Creating images of wildflowers and landscapes brought her happiness, and in her last year at King’s Crown, Shell Point in Fort Myers, she renewed her love of painting.
A lifelong supporter of the arts, Emily volunteered at the BIG Arts Center on Sanibel Island, joined the Crafty Ladies at Amherst South Congregational Church and added her voice to Sanibel’s community chorus and Sanibel Congregational UCC’s choir.
Emily was active throughout her life: sailing in races in her youth in Barnegat Bay, N.J., competing in triathlons, hiking the escarpment trail in the Catskills many times, orienteering, biking, joining water aerobics and yoga classes, and, in the last year, walking up three flights of stairs at King’s Crown many times a day. She loved tackling crossword and jigsaw puzzles.
Emily leaves an extensive network of friends from the many places she lived throughout her life. She made many new friends at King’s Crown in Fort Myers; Emily’s family extends special thanks to MacKenzie Millis and Inga Bredahl at King’s Crown. Also thanks to Carol Gross of Sanibel Congregational UCC and the many others from both Amherst Congregational and Sanibel Congregational who visited and prayed for Emily.
Emily had an abiding enthusiasm for everything on top of an incredible spirit and energy. She was a fighter until the end.
A celebration of Emily’s life will be held on Oct. 1 at South Amherst Congregational Church, 1066 South East Street, Amherst, MA 01002. In the meantime, her family suggests those wishing to honor Emily’s memory consider making a donation to one of the following organizations:
Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Immokalee, Fla. (www.ciw-online.org)
Center for New Americans, 42 Gothic Street, Northampton, Ma. (www.cnam.org)
Friends may sign the guest book at www.dignifiedcremations.com.