Emma Mae Yarbrough High

08/30/1932 - 11/16/2021

Obituary For Emma Mae Yarbrough High

A celebration of life for Ms. Emma Mae Yarbrough High of Odenville, 89, will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 27, 2021, at Morning Star Baptist Church, Ragland. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Ms. High will lie in state at the church one hour prior to the service. Visitation will be 1-7 p.m. on Friday, November 26, 2021, at the funeral home. The family will receive friends from 1-2 p.m.

Emma Mae Yarbrough High was born to Mr. Samuel and Mrs. Mamie Yarbrough in Ragland, Alabama on August 30, 1932. She was the fourth child born to this union. She accepted Christ at an early age and attended Kites Chapel where she sang in the choir.

Emma Mae was active in her community and enjoyed playing basketball. She always said, “I played just like the boys, and I learned those tricks from my brothers”. She graduated from Ragland High School and briefly attended Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama. During her early years, she moved to Lansing, Michigan where she became a chef. Emma Mae would create roses from radishes, made decadent desserts and formulate the most beautiful party trays in the Lansing area. She displayed her culinary skills at Michigan State University, Scofes Restaurant and for private parties until she retired in the late 1980’s.

During her time in Lansing, Ms. Emma Mae gave birth to her only child in January of 1967. Wherever you saw Ms. Emma, you saw her shadow, Mrs. Tonia Yarbrough Washington. She was a very supportive mother, teaching her daughter the same basketball tricks she learned from her brothers. Emma and Tonia were very active in Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan and would travel all over to sing at churches. She was there to cheer Tonia on at her track meets, basketball games, and French Club events. As the years went on, Emma Mae began to cheer on her grandchildren Makhiel and Maizonne Fields. There was even a time she “boo’d” the referees during one of Makhiel’s church basketball games. She never missed a sporting or academic event; she has always been so proud of her family.

She is preceded in death by her parents Samuel Sr. and Mamie Yarbrough; sisters, Mable Yarbrough and Vivian Allen; brothers, Lenwood Yarbrough, Willie James Yarbrough, Melvin Yarbrough and Samuel Yarbrough, Jr. Emma Mae leaves to cherish her memory: a daughter, Tonia (Rickey) Yarbrough Washington of Odenville, Alabama; a brother, Johnny Lee (Lunora) Yarbrough of Irondale, Alabama; sisters-in-law, Carol Yarbrough of Anniston, Alabama and Earline Yarbrough of Lansing, Michigan; a special son, Kelvin Byers of Ragland, Alabama; daughter-in-love, Naomi Washington of Aliceville, Alabama; special extended family, the Wills family of Lansing, Michigan; her extensive blended family; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.



Guest Book

Tonia my beautiful soul sister. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I watched Mom's service today and my eyes are full of tears. I loved your mom and all the videos you posted of the Chronicles of Emma. I will forever cherish these videos. I wish I had been able to meet her in person. I'll look for her and you in the next life. Sending love ❤️ hugs 🤗 and prayers 🙏 to all the family.

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Tonia you know the Wills family has long memories of your mom...since you were 3 months old when my mom Johnnie Mae babysat you. Our fondest memory was when you were sick as a child she would bring that Fathers John medicine that you absolutely hated😂 When we celebrated Johnnie and Cecil's 25th wedding anniversary, Emma prepared the most fanciest appetizers and food as she was extremely talented as a chef. You and Emma was sorely missed in the Wills family when relocated to Ragland but we understood what Emma had to do for her mom and family. We all love you dearly Tonia. Just sorry we couldn't be with you ❤️

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Cousin Toni, my heartfelt condolences go out to you and the family on the passing of your adorable mother cousin Emma. May The Lord keep you in His everlasting peace during this time. Love Cousin Shelly

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Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.

- Terry’s Metropolitan Mortuary | Talladega, AL