EMOGENE SMITH ROE, 85, of Huntington, died Sunday July 18, 2021, in St. Mary’s Medical Center. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, with service to follow at Chapman’s Mortuary in Huntington, with Pastor Phil Wilson officiating. Burial will be in Spring Hill Cemetery. Emogene was born December 5, 1935, in Pike County, Kentucky, a daughter of the late Willie Lawson and Ethel Blackburn Smith. She started her career at The Smart Shop where she specialized in sportswear. She loved the outdoors and the sun, and in the late 1970s she brought The Sub Tropic Tanning franchise to West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. She later became an insurance agent with Western and Southern Life Insurance and was promoted to senior management. Upon retirement, she focused even more on her family, and volunteer work, winning The Volunteer of the Year award at the Emogene Dolin Hospice house. She was a faithful Christian and active member of Harmony United Methodist Church where she taught Adult Bible Study and often sang in the choir. Her commitment to God and her family was obvious to all who knew her. She adored her grandkids and great-grandkids beyond measure. As one of 11 siblings, she worked to keep the family connected through her legendary Smith family reunions, drawing family members from across generations and from across the nation. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Cecil B. Roe, and nine brothers and sisters. Survivors include four sons: Greg (Tara) Varney and Stewart (Darlene) Varney all of Huntington, Bill (Marcia) Varney of Colleyville, Texas, and Raymond (Susan) Varney of Flower Mound, Texas; one brother, Glenn Smith of Georgetown, Ky.; two stepdaughters, Teresa Roe of Proctorville, Ohio, and Lynn McClure of Winter Haven, Fla.; seven grandchildren: Jamie (Brad) Maynard, Carrie (Adam) Orwig, Christopher Varney, Melinda (Shawn Washington) Varney, Andrew (Sarah) Varney, Emily Varney, Audrey Varney; two step granddaughters, Jessica McClure and Brittany Smith; and 10 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House. Funeral service will be live streamed on Chapman’s Mortuary’s Facebook page. Online condolences may be sent to www.chapmans-mortuary.com.
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