Emily Nicole Stillman was born September 11, 1993. As the second of Michael and Alicia Stillman’s three children, she would later refer to the fact that she had the “unluckiest” birthday, to which her mother always replied – “nope – it was one of the three luckiest days in our lives”.
Emily graduated from Adat Shalom Nursery School, Pine Lake Elementary School, West Hills Middle School, and Andover High School. She spent her summers at Camp Seagull in Charlevoix, Michigan and at Stagedoor Manor in New York. Throughout her entire life, she maintained friendships from each of her experiences.
From the very beginning, Emily always wanted to be on stage. She would sing and dance to her family and to the many dolls that she would line up in a row to be her audience. As she grew, her one time high pitch, squeaky little voice became loud, clear and projected with confidence. She performed countless times in her years – but her crowning jewel was earning first place in the State Forensics Competition during her senior year.
Emily had a strong and charismatic presence. When she entered a room, she commanded attention – in a positive way. People gravitated to her, and wanted to be included in her circles. She made people laugh, and feel good about themselves. She let them know it was ok for them – ok to be real – and ok to be themselves. “Unique”, “an individualist”, “a flower child” are all ways she has been described. What summarizes each of these though, is that Emily was always true to herself – there were no pretenses.
Family time was very important to Emily. Being with her parents, and Karly and Zachary were always a priority. Whether she would be home, enjoying the family time, or experiencing one of the many family traveling experiences, this was a highlight in her life. She loved puzzles, games, movies, and reality television. Her sense of humor, her improvisations, and her impersonations became famous among all who knew her. Emily never ended a conversation with those she cared about without expressing her feelings. No one ever wondered where they stood with Emily.
Her decision to attend Kalamazoo College was one that Emily did not take lightly. She would be embarking on a whole new journey without any of her high school friends. But somehow, she knew it would be the right fit for her – and it was. While in Kalamazoo, Emily immersed herself into campus life with vigor. She was involved in theatre and psychology, and once again, in true “Emily fashion”, touched the lives of each person she met. She knew how to leave a mark. Her goal in life was to someday be on “Saturday Night Live”. It is the concensus of those who knew her that one day, she would have made it!
On February 2, 2013 Emily Stillman passed away from Meningococcal Disease – Serogroup B. She had received both recommended doses of the Conjugate vaccine at the appropriate times. However, the vaccine to prevent Serogroup B was not yet available in the United States. She leaves a huge hole in this world, which will forever be a darker place without her light and her laughter. She leaves her parents, Alicia and Michael, her sister Karly, her brother Zachary, her grandparents Sherrill and Bernie Lewis and Rochelle Stillman, and a whole world of extended family and friends.