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Teacher, Community Volunteer Emily Tranberg Dead at 82

Nov. 5, 2008 — Emily Elaine Heathman Tranberg of Estate Hannah's Rest, also known as "Emmy" or "Em," a former teacher and community volunteer, died Oct. 28 at Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital. She was 82 years old.
She leaves behind her husband of 52 years and love of her life, Otto "Chico" Tranberg, and her children, Patricia E. Tranberg Stevens and Lauritz M. Tranberg.
While local resident Otto Tranberg was serving in the Navy and stationed at the Nantucket Naval Facility in Rhode Island he met Emily, who was originally from Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
"I didn't want to get involved with a sailor because sailors have a reputation," Emily said in July, sitting in on a Source interview with Otto. "But he kept asking me out — he floored me."
He courted her and they married in 1956. Emily lived the life of a Navy wife and mother while Otto spent time at sea. He was out at sea during the birth of their daughter, Patricia. Otto retired from the Navy in 1962 and they moved to Boston, where they lived for 11 years. Emily said she wouldn't leave New England as long as her parents were alive. In 1973, after her parents passed away, she agreed to move to St. Croix.
"She loved it here on St. Croix," Otto said.
Emily had some interesting jobs in her younger days. She served as a personal companion to a Colgate heiress, a job she loved that allowed her to travel extensively, stay at luxury hotels and dine at fine restaurants. Emily was one of the first female welders during World War II. She obtained elementary-education teaching credentials in Boston.
For 12 years Emily taught at St. Patrick's School in Frederiksted. She was also a homemaker and very active in the community.
According to Otto, Emily served in the women's auxiliary unit of American Legion Bromley Berkley Post 133 in Frederiksted. She was a worthy matron of the Eastern Star. She was a member of the Sacred Heart Society at St. Patrick's Church in Frederiksted, where she sang in the choir and was a reader of scripture during mass. As a couple the Tranbergs volunteered at the senior center at Alderville, the V.A. clinic at Barren Spot and at AARP, and they helped shut-ins as Retired Senior Volunteer Persons (RSVP). Emily was also a member of the Friends of Denmark and the Women's Club for 12 years.
"Emily went above and beyond," Otto said Friday. "She gave more than she received."
While in the hospital trying to recover from recent bypass surgery, Emily helped feed her roommate, an elderly blind woman, Otto said.
"She touched many people," Otto said. "She was a beautiful person."
Tranberg is also survived by her grandchild Tamara Tranberg; great-grandchildren Taj Tranberg, Taylor and Gabriel Reynolds; daughter-in-law Pamela Tranberg; sister Lois A. Wells; brothers James, William and Charles Heathman; nieces Dr. Marcia I. Wells Avery, Audrey Huggins, Kaitland and Rebecca Heathman; nephews Abdus Shakur, Robert Ollivierre, Williams A. Heathman III, James Heathman Jr. and Troy Smith; special friends Carmen Mills, Vincenta Pilgrim, Iris Richards, Yvonne George, Germaine Payne, Roger and Kamgja Morgan, Mary Duggan, Bernie and Larry Mary Pamphile, Veroin and Corrine, Phil and Ellen, Ron and Grace; and many other relatives and friends too numerous to mention.
A viewing will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Frederiksted Cemetery. James Memorial Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
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