Visitation at Funeral Home
Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Emelina Pola Smits
A Loving Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Sister, Friend and Neighbor.
Emelina, we mourn your loss profoundly but we celebrate your life & your Faith.
Emelina Pola Smits was born on September 14th, 1930 in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, a small agrarian town outside of Ponce. She was born to Joaquin Pola & Tomasa Bermudez and had 13 siblings.
Emelina attended Primary School in Peñuelas, until the time of her mother’s passing, when the family then moved to Ponce where she attended Armstrong Intermediate School & Graduated from Ponce High School class of 1950.
Ponce High offered a program called “ocupaciones diversas” (diverse occupations), and so Emelina‘s area of interest was in X-ray technology, which she completed.
Soon after graduation, the idea of going to New York to join some of her older siblings began to occupy her thoughts, which became a reality.
She moved to NYC in 1951 and a year later met a young merchant marine, Cornelis Smits, who was originally from Suriname / Dutch Guiana.
Emelina & Cornelis danced & courted for two years. They married in 1954. Their union produced three children, Jimmy, Yvonne and Diana.
Her interest in healthcare continued to flourish, where she worked as a Nurse’s aide at a number of hospitals including Maimonides Hospital and Linden General Hospital, a small community hospital in East New York.
Throughout the years, Emelina went through times of hardship but her strength in her faith always managed to pull her through. She also had a fierce commitment to her children and familia which never wavered.
After the closing of Linden General Hospital, Emelina was employed by United Home Care as a Home Health Care Worker.
She moved to the Midwood section of Brooklyn and there began a relationship with Our Lady of Refuge R.C. Church. This passionate connection was to last over thirty five years, up until her final journey “home”.
During that time she volunteered with the church’s Homeless Ministry & Food Pantry.
Emelina was a member of The Sacred Heart of Jesus Society and The National Cursillo Movement. She could always be found reading her Daily Word Pamphlets or her Bible & was a committed contributor to Unity as well as Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Charities.
Her volunteerism & her desire to “give back” extended to her interest in Health care as well.
She volunteered with The Visiting Nurse Service of N.Y. (where her eldest daughter Yvonne, a registered nurse, who followed her mother’s course in the health care profession worked).
She “clocked-in” many thousands of hours gaining many honor certificates. In the late nineties she was awarded one of the highest VNS Volunteer awards, which she was very proud of.
Emelina performed many functions as a volunteer but loved when she had the opportunity to make “comfort calls” to patients.
In the last ten years, although her mobility was hampered, her love for God, the church and it’s teachings only intensified. She spent the majority of her days praying for those she loved, saying her rosary’s and watching the masses on television since she was not able to go to church as often as she had in the past.
She shared her faith and beliefs with her children, grandchildren, family, friends, neighbors and all who would listen especially Maria Luisa who cared for her so lovingly for the last eight years.
Many loved her sweet spirit, kindness and her way of making people feel like her “extended familia”.
Emelina was greatly loved and admired by many. She lived a strong faith based life which has paved the way to eternal life with God above.
She is survived by her 3 children Jimmy, Yvonne & Diana.
2 son-in-laws, Abraham & Clark
1 daughter-in-law, Wanda
6 grandchildren, Taina, Kino, Lina, Enrique, Tiffany & Angelica
1 great- grand daughter Tyler
3 surviving Sisters- Alicia, Digna & Celia
And a host of nieces, nephews and friends here in the U.S. & Puerto Rico.
The Family wishes to express genuine appreciation to all for your support through words and prayers. With gratitude to God Almighty, for her wonderful life and for family and friends who traveled near and far for Emelina’s farewell.
Please see SERVICE INFORMATION.
At Marine Park Funeral Home, we do everything in our power to help you honor the memory of your deceased loved one.
3024 Quentin Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11234