Emile Fischbeck, who recently turned 100, started driving at the age of 12 before driver’s licenses were even in existence. Originally from Virginia, her dad owned a car dealership which set the stage for her love of cars throughout her life. When asked her favorite car, she immediately responded “Porsche. If you are going to choose, you have to aim high class,” she laughs.
Friends and family gathered on Saturday, August 29, at the Coronado home of longtime friends Brian Scott and Lyn Collaton, to celebrate Emile, who is still sharp and spunky, as she presided over the crowd. Emile moved to Coronado when her son, John III, a Navy pilot veteran, rented and then bought a house on Pine Street in 2000. She also has a daughter Kimberly. Emile helped raise her grandchildren Sarah and John IV, who both attended Coronado High School. Some of her favorite memories with them include going to the beach together.
Emile moved to Oceanside five years ago, living with her son, but has fond memories of the time she spent in Coronado. She quickly integrated as a member of the Red Hat Club and the Women’s Club. Creative from a young age, Emile resumed painting at the age of 85 with a special group of friends who painted together including Jean Garry, Jean Collaton, Nancy Shaughnessy, Bert Stroud, and Bryan Scott. Her favorite subjects to paint were people and palm trees. She and her friends also worked out at the Motion Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital. Emile remembers liking the treadmill, but not being so crazy about weightlifting. “My favorite part was after exercising when we would go to lunch and talk about politics and solve issues,” she recalls. Emile’s friends remember that she never missed a party, which often went into the wee hours of the morning with lots of food, laughing and movie watching.
Emile was a go-getter as a young professional in the 1930s and 1940s when she worked as the head of Wheelan Studios, with the responsibility of travelling across the country to oversee 22 camera studios. Her favorite camera will always be a Leica, and she enjoyed taking family photos throughout her life.
Emile deserves an award for one of the best honeymoons ever. She and her husband John, who were married for 43 years, took a new Packard on a six-month journey from Virginia to California and back, stopping in Mexico City and Guadalajara along the way. She still has the album filled with mementos from the trip. She loves travelling and has been to every state in the U.S. except Hawaii. When asked what her favorite travel destination was, she answered, “Somewhere I haven’t been. Russia sounds interesting.”
Emile couldn’t pinpoint one favorite Coronado memory, but said, “Every day was special and I feel blessed to have lived here.” She credits her long life to eating lots of chocolate and living by the mantra, “Don’t worry, Be happy!”