Emma Lou (Herlong) Worth

Jan. 04, 2013 @ 11:06 PM

Emma Lou (Herlong) Worth died suddenly at her home in Lake City, FL, on the afternoon of December 31, 2012.

She was born September 2, 1925, in Jasper, FL, and attended public schools in Columbia County. In 1947, Mrs. Worth earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies and Education from the Florida State College for Women (now FSU). She then returned to Lake City and became a social worker for the Department of Public Welfare, where she met Hal McMahan Worth, a native of Sevierville, TN. They wed December 4, 1948. The Worths were married for 63 years, and reared two children as well as two grandchildren. Their devotion and deep love remained palatable throughout their lives, and still serves as a model and inspiration of what a true partnership can achieve. Once her children were in school, Mrs. Worth began her teaching career. From 1957 to 1982, she taught the third, fourth, and fifth grades in Columbia County; the stories and success of her students remained an important source of pride and happiness throughout her life.

Mrs. Worth was an attentive mother and grandmother, a member of the First United Methodist Church, and a Silver Sister of the local chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa. She loved gardening, reading, local history, and retreating to the family’s cabin on the Santa Fe River. After retirement, she and her husband became avid travelers, and alongside their dear friends the Colsons, MacCalebs, and others, they visited 49 states and Canada. She will be remembered for her deep convictions and enthusiasm for the simple joys of life, her loyal friendship, and the stability and caring home she made for her entire family.

Mrs. Worth was preceded in death by her parents, William Vastine “Willie” Herlong and Marietta Floyd (Ellis) Herlong and her beloved husband of 63 years, Hal McMahn Worth. She is survived by her son George W. “Bill” Worth (Linda) of Chesapeake, VA; Betsey (Worth) Ward (Larry) of Lake City, FL; 4 grandchildren: Jacob Hill, Ginger Hill, Stefanie Ward-Cerny (Mark); and Kelly Rippard (Jason); and 2 great grandchildren: Alyssa Hill and Emma Hill.

Funeral Services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church of Lake City with Pastor Jeff Tate officiating.

Visitation with the family will be held Monday evening, January 7, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “Outreach Ministries,” First United Methodist Church, 973 S. Marion Ave., Lake City, FL 32025; or the ADK Scholarship Fund, 409 NW Zack Drive, Lake City, FL 32055. Arrangements are under the direction of GATEWAY-FOREST LAWN FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY, INC. 3596 S. US Hwy 441, Lake City, FL (386-752-1954).