It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of one of our long-term students and a great friend, Ms Emily Ercanbrack. While her untimely death has left us all in shock, I have no doubt that Emily would not want us to grieve but rather to celebrate her spirit and the full life she led. She loved her wife, her cats, her friends and family, music, travel, and taekwondo (she earned the rank of 2nd degree black belt). She was a social activist and a friend to all.
I will always remember Emily for her inclusivity. When a new student would come to class, Emily would be the first to welcome them, immediately making them feel like old friends. When she couldn't make it to class, everyone would inquire where she was.
After taekwondo, Emily and her wife Marisa would always want to hang out and get dinner. I don't know how many times we shared a meal together and laughed the whole way through as Emily regaled us with an anecdote from her day. She would make sure our glasses stayed filled and would serve everyone before herself--an apt example of how she lived in all parts of her life.
When Emily came across a hurdle in her path, her indomitable spirit shone bright. I'll never forget when she broke her ankle and a week later came scooting into class, her bad ankle resting on the scooter while she figured out how to do taekwondo with only one leg. She even passed her red belt testing and competed at a tournament in that condition!
Emily is survived by her loving wife Marisa (a first degree black belt in our school). For those of you who are friends with her, she has asked that you post any condolences to her Facebook page as she is not feeling up to responding directly to friends right now.
I know that Emily touched the lives of so many of our students. If you have any memories you shared with her, we would love to hear them. Please post them in the comments section.
Through this sad event, we are reminded to show those around us how much they mean to us. Reconnect with an old friend, call your cousin who lives far away, give your family and pets an extra hug tonight. Tell your friends and family often that you love them as we never know when our time on this earth will be up.
Emily, while I know you have gone to a better place (and rejoined your Father and Vanity), the impact you made will not be forgotten and you will live on forever in the hearts of your many many friends. We love you.