Emogene Studer

May 28, 1930May 31, 2021
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Emogene (O’Connell) Studer lived a rich life, full of love and joy. While she had her share of pain and struggles, she was determined to overcome them through her belief in Christ and her commitment to live a life of joy.

She was born in Santa Ana, CA on May 28th, 1930. She had a rough start, with her father dying when she was 5 and her mother giving up all four children to an orphanage when “Emma” was six. But a miracle happened. Marie and Phillip O'Connell, Emogene’s aunt and uncle adopted the kids and raised them in a kind and loving home. Emogene adored her parents and especially her sister Virginia, and was devoted to them until they passed.

When she was 8, her family escaped the 1938 Santa Ana river flood in the middle of the night. Fortunately, as she tells it, her mom had bought her brand new red rain boots a few days before! She went to local schools in the Talbert and Santa Ana area, until her parents moved to Imperial, CA where she was a cheerleader and graduated from Imperial Valley Union High School.

After high school, her parents moved to the San Bernardino area. Jean helped out in her mother's restaurant and went to secretarial school. At one of her first jobs, in the ad office of Harris’ department store, she met her husband Leroy “Roy” Studer. He was a window dresser and when she saw him coming down the escalator with women's clothing (undergarments if you must know) in each hand it was love at first sight. They became engaged in the church parking lot three weeks later, were married three months later and remained in love until he passed in 1996.

After having two daughters, Jean decided to be a homemaker, but being who she was, home was anywhere there was something good she could do for her family or community. The life lessons she taught her daughters about how to love God, your family and friends were taught not just through words, but through actions. She and Roy were passionate about service.

When they settled in Corona del Mar, CA they joined St. Andrews Presbyterian Church where Jean served in multiple capacities including deacon for over 50 years.

Her children's passions became hers and she tirelessly supported them through years of National Charity League, Keywanettes, church youth groups and endless sailing and riding lessons and horse shows. Always willing to drive, bring food, cheer on and most of all listen.

She worked in Roy's CPA office and they were involved in Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. However, next to her family and church, her consuming passion was PEO, a philanthropic educational organization. It was here that her love for people and the advancement of their dreams was most strongly expressed. She served in every official capacity, including president of her chapter multiple times and as chairwoman of the California State convention. The year she died, she celebrated her 60th year in PEO. Her PEO sisters were beloved by her and they continue to go above and beyond to return the favor.

Later in life, Jean and Roy put their considerable creativity to work in an event planning business. One of Jean’s many talents she developed through this was the making of beautiful decorative bows for church pews or anywhere that “needed a spot of color”.

After being widowed and having to adapt to life without Roy, her byword became “Joy”. She decided to overcome and live life to the fullest, no matter her circumstances. She enjoyed many years living in Laguna Woods, making many good friends there. She adored her grandchildren and loved to be involved in their lives. When health concerns made it necessary to move to Colorado and live with her daughter, she didn't let the grief of leaving her family, friends, church and PEO sisters steal her joy. She decided to thrive and of course, find somewhere to serve. At 88 years old she became involved in the local Senior Center teaching classes in bow making and making wreaths for the craft fair that were so beautiful, the volunteers bought them before the fair even opened. She was constantly creating something, usually to give away in order to spread joy. To say she will be missed is an understatement. Our hearts are broken, but like her, we will grieve and then honor her by choosing joy.

Emogene is survived by her daughter Carolyn White, daughter and son-in-law Marilyn and Christopher Simpson; grandchildren Daniel White, Megan White, Noah Simpson, and Grace Simpson; and great grandchildren Jayden Ramirez, Levi Ramirez, Jaxon White and Adeline White.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, June 16, 2021

  • Family Graveside Service

    Thursday, June 17, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, June 17, 2021

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