Emily Claire Markway, Fulton, (formerly of Jefferson City), died unexpectedly on Tuesday, August 27th, at her residence. She was 37 years old.
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Emily was born March 11, 1982, at St Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City, MO. She attended Moreau Heights Elementary School, Lewis & Clark Middle School, then Jefferson City High School and was a member of the class of 2000. Emily's tendency to live with bravado was evident as early as first grade. At her very first parent teacher conference, Emily's teacher told her mother, "I'll make you a deal. I will only believe about half of what Emily says goes on at home if you'll only believe about half of what Emily says goes on here at school." After high school, Emily became a certified nurse's assistant and worked at Villa Marie Nursing Home. She loved her job. Emily felt like her "old people" and her coworkers were her family. That feeling was mutual.
Death was not something with which Emily was unfamiliar. In the summer of 2001 at age 19, Emily's struggle with alcohol and drug addiction left her in a state of clinical death. She was resuscitated and brought to the hospital, somehow still clinging to earthly existence; however, her family was told survival would not likely be the ultimate outcome. If she did survive, it was predicted she would only exist as the proverbial "vegetable." True to her character, Emily did the opposite of what was expected. Emily's brain was forever altered, but she survived and instead of being the vegetable healthcare professionals anticipated, Em was more of a fruit - a Fruit Loop that is. While the life she had known (and the Emily her friends and family had known) was gone, she somehow managed to hold on to her goofy personality. Substance abuse took so much from her, but it did not take HER.
Emily paid a heavy price for her struggle with substance abuse issues. She was an open book and always willing to share her story - whether it was in the appropriate setting or not! Often, shoppers at Family Dollar would get a quick lecture on how bad drugs were or how "brain injuries suck." She would frequently be heard saying, "Comas suck," and repeatedly stated if her experience kept her nephews and nieces from doing drugs, she felt it was worth it.
Since her life-altering event, Emily enjoyed a relatively independent life, even living in an apartment of her own. A self-proclaimed "Momma's girl," Em enjoyed visiting / driving her mother nuts on the weekends. Emily visited her Momma nearly every weekend until Momma's death in August 2018. Emily also enjoyed her nephews and nieces. While Emily didn't necessarily ENJOY her big sister's company, she would tolerate Sarah long enough to go to one of her nephew's ball games on occasion. Frequently, Aunt Em would be bearing gifts for her family as she also enjoyed going to garage sales, thrift shops, and secondhand stores. She also enjoyed crafting, and has left many handmade treasures for her friends and family. Ironically, Em also loved angels and had amassed quite a collection before becoming one herself. Her brain injury kept her from remembering many things; however, she never forgot her love of music. She was a huge fan of R&B and hip-hop, covering the walls of her apartment with posters of Eminem, Tupac, Janet Jackson, and Beyonce. More than anything, though, Emily LOVED her cigarettes and was rarely seen without a menthol in hand.
Emily left many to mourn her passing. She is survived by her "bonus dad," Howard Thomas, of Tebbetts, MO. Howard was a constant in Emily's life from a young age and continued to be even in adulthood. Since Em's mom's passing, he still visited Emily every Thursday, bringing her an ice cream treat each time. Emily is also survived by her older sister, Sarah Stackman of Jefferson City. Emily and Sarah were the only children of their parents' union and the only remaining members of the family. Also surviving their goofy aunt are Sarah's children; Andrea Jungmeyer (Ryan), Cole Stackman, Autumn Stackman, Justin Stackman, and Max Stackman. Emily also left behind a younger sister, Breanna Markway - as well as her children Chase and Cobin - and a younger brother, Brock Markway. Emily is also survived by five "bonus" siblings; Brandy Brockes (Adam), Deb Garret (Steve), Darla Sapp (Greg), Diane Wyatt (Charles), and Steve Thomas (Carla). Emily also leaves a special friend, Ed, of Fulton, MO, to mourn her absence from his life. Emily was preceded in death by her Nana (Ruth Grishkat), her Momma (Ruthie Thomas), and her Dad (Bruce Markway).
A celebration of Emily's life will be held on October 18th at the Fraternal Order of Police, 508 Babe Ruth Drive, Jefferson City, MO. The celebration will start at 4:00pm, with a sharing of memories to commence shortly thereafter for those wishing to do so. Celebrating will continue as long as needed. There will be light refreshments, though attendees are welcome to bring a beverage of choice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a fund for a permanent memorial for Emily, c/o Sarah Stackman. Also, those who wish to do so may contribute to a charity of their choice in Emily's name.
Emily might also ask that, in her honor, we love people as they are and not view people with substance abuse issues as "just addicts." Kindness to one another may perhaps be the best way to honor Emily.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.