Jane Copeland thought warmly about her late mother as she glanced around the spacious Park Expo & Conference Center in Charlotte on Feb. 6. People 65 and older, scattered across about 160 seats, were receiving more than 3,700 COVID-19 vaccinations from Novant Health.
“I’m thinking about her being here today and how much she would want to know everybody's story, and see them all getting their vaccines,” Copeland said. “She loved dancing. She would love for them to be able to have one more dance, one more drink or one more family gathering.”
Emma Holliday Collins Seymour – she went by “Emmaday” – died Dec. 8, 2020, from COVID-19. She was 78.
Her husband, Bill Seymour, and his three daughters and three sons-in-law honored Emmaday by volunteering at the mass vaccination event. The family donned masks and took on various volunteer duties. Outside, Bill Seymour piloted a golf cart that shuttled people to and from distant corners of the vast parking lot.
The support for Emmaday extended well beyond her immediate family. More than 40 volunteers were employees (and spouses) of Primax Properties, a Charlotte real estate development company that Bill Seymour founded in 1995 and remains its chairman.
“It is very reassuring and comforting to know that folks love you,” Bill Seymour said. “We're in a time where we can’t have gatherings at funerals. The response has just been wonderful from so many people from our company, with their spouses, to help with this. I know a certain amount of that is for Emmaday and I really appreciate it.”
As hundreds of volunteers approached their registration site to begin their shifts, they passed a table with two framed photos of Emmaday. Each volunteer wore a blue arm ribbon to honor her memory.
“It is very heavy thinking about the pain of losing her,” said youngest daughter Shannon Flippin. “But the blessing is that our parents raised us modeling faith in Jesus. We know that she's in heaven, and there's this peace. I know she’d love to be out here, involved and caring for people.”
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Holly Worsley, oldest of Bill and Emmaday’s daughters, said her mom was a gifted storyteller.