BELLEVILLE - Emalee Ann Earon Thompson, 86, formerly of State College, born Sept. 13, 1927, died July 21, 2014, at the Valley View Retirement Community in Belleville.
Emalee retired in 2007 after 22 years as a realtor in State College with the firm of Kissinger, Bigatel and Brower. Prior to her work in State College, Emalee also worked as a realtor in Harrisburg and Long Island, where she received her broker's license.
She was born in Lock Haven, the daughter of the late W. Donald and Anna Schwarz Earon.
After graduating from Lock Haven High School in 1945, Emalee, a contralto, studied voice at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and the Julliard School of Music in New York. She toured Europe, singing in 17 cities in 15 countries and nine U.S. embassies; followed by training in Paris with noted French Tenor Pierre Bernac. Emalee, after winning the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Program, sang for two weeks on the CBS television network. Also, she was a finalist in both "The Voice of Tomorrow," by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Orchestra performance competition, judged by Dr. Eugene Ormandy and Bill Smith, assistant conductor.
Emalee and her husband, Gilbert H. Thompson, who survives, met at the Lambertville Music Circus in 1951. They recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary on June 21st. They performed as a singing duo on Moore McCormick ships that cruised to South American ports in the 1950s. She also sang and performed for Holland American, Celebrity and Incres Lines and on Cunard QEII. They continued to perform as professional concert and club-date singers while living in Philadelphia, Chicago, Mechanicsburg and Port Jefferson, Long Island, N.Y., performing with nationally-known entertainers, before moving to State College in 1985.
While living on Long Island, Emalee performed in a dual concert with the late Eleanor Steber, an operatic soprano with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Emalee sang with the American Opera Company, the Chicago Lyric Opera Company, the Lyric and Grand Opera Companies of Philadelphia, the Marwick Opera Company on Long Island and the Harrisburg Civic Opera. She performed with, and was a founding board member of, the Nittany Valley Symphony.
Emalee regularly attended Calvary Baptist Church in State College.
Besides her husband, Emalee is survived by: her daughter, Lori Ann Thompson Maxfield and her husband, Kevin, of State College; and son-in-law, Gregory T. Greene, of Blue Point, N.Y, widower of daughter Lee Ann Thompson Greene, who died in 2002; four grandchildren, Bethany Maxfield, currently residing in Birmingham, Ala., Jenna Maxfield, a student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., Krista Lee Greene Thyberg and husband, Andrew, of Bayport, N.Y., and Garner Greene, of Blue Point, N.Y., a recent graduate of Dowling College; and a nephew, Donald Sarvey, of Harrisburg.
Emalee was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Jane Earon Sarvey.
Emalee Earon (Thompson), little known professional operatic and concert singing talent, soon will be made available in the Music Library at the Penn State Paterno Library on several of her concert CD's. For many who knew and loved her gifted and sensitive God-given musical talents Emalee has moved on to her greatest musical challenge, singing for our Lord. Soon many worldwide will applaud her wonderful, gifted/caring life.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014, at the Calvary Baptist Church 1250 University Drive, State College, with the Rev. Dan Nold of Calvary Baptist Church officiating and Gerald Peachey of Valley View Retirement assisting.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m Thursday, July 24, at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College.
Burial will take place at the convenience of the family at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery near Harrisburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Valley View Retirement Center Alzheimers Unit, 4702 E. Main St., Belleville, PA 17004.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College.
Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome. com.