Remembering Emilia Bautista King

Remembering Emilia Bautista King
Remembering Emilia Bautista King

Emilia Bautista King, a second-grade teacher who joined Sidwell Friends in 2018, died peacefully at home on February 24 following a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. You can read more about Emilia’s remarkable life in the obituary below. 

Emilia Bautista King of Greenbelt, MD, transitioned peacefully at home on February 24, 2024, at age 50 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born September 23, 1973, at Bethesda Naval Hospital to Antonio and Mercedes Bautista, Emilia enriched her life with an abundant regard for literature, a deep appreciation for cuisine, and excitement for travel. She found great joy in sharing these passions with her family, friends, students, and colleagues.

After a blind date at a Shawn Colvin concert led to true love, Emilia and her husband David spent the next 20 years sharing their love of travel, food, music, and family. They were dedicated to dining at as many of Washingtonian magazine’s Top 100 restaurants as possible, and patronized their favorite chefs on their beloved trips. In their pursuit of adventure, they enthusiastically visited 87 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an astonishing number of National Parks, and countries on almost every continent.

Emilia and David were joined in life’s adventure by their two beautiful daughters, Ella and Hannah. Emilia’s nurturing inclinations and background as an educator led her to constantly enrich her daughters’ and students’ lives with a rich tapestry of knowledge, humor, and wisdom. She taught with warmth, compassion, and open-mindedness, whether it was to strangers, her daughters, or the decades of students who had the privilege of knowing her infectious laughter, mesmerizing voice, and quick wit. Her passion for education knew no bounds — she truly understood life as we know it as a vast and vibrant classroom.

Her educational experience reflected across her life, spanning diverse areas of study through international education and travel. She was a proud member of La Reine High School Class of '91, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Political Science from Carleton University of Ottawa, Canada in 1995, and her Bachelor of Teaching and Master of Education in 1997 and 2002 from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Her professional life was dedicated to helping children become critical thinkers in support of a diverse world, impacting countless students throughout the last twenty-five years at Friends Community School of College Park, MD (1998-2001); Ascot Vale Primary School and Pascoe Vale South Primary School in Victoria, Australia (2001-2002); Lowell Schoolof Washington, DC (2002-2007); Concord Hill School of Chevy Chase, MD (2007-2018); Sidwell Friends School of Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD (2018-2024).

In her pursuit of racial justice and cultural diversity, Emilia was deeply involved with the Filipino American Decolonization Experience (FADE), Asian American Pacific Islanders affinity group, and the Asian Educators Alliance. The annual NAIS People of Color Conference has enjoyed her as a regular speaker since 2019, and recognized her in 2023 when she couldn’t personally attend.

Emilia would want to acknowledge the vast support system that grounded her throughout her last years. Her best friends, the faculty, families, and administration at Sidwell Friends School, Dr. Ben Weinberg, the nurses at Georgetown Hospital, and Dr. Alfred Vargas and his wife, Angela Vargas; all without whom we would not have had the strong, vibrant Emilia these last years. She was able to continue teaching because of the strength of her village, or “barkada,” as she would call it. With their support, she felt incredibly blessed to go into her 25th year of teaching this year. 

The infinite number of friends and family that Emilia created and nurtured relationships with throughout her lifetime defies imagination. Each one of her school friends, students, colleagues, book and drama club members, and everyone she met along the way has been inspired by her unlimited appetite for experiencing all that life has to offer. 

Emilia loved with a passion that inspired those around her to do better, be better, and love everything in our lives wholeheartedly and without regret. Her spirit lives on in Ella’s thoughtfulness, Hannah’s extraversion, and in each and every child whose life she touched forever. Her reach is far and wide, spanning continents, generations, and forever connecting us to one another by way of her caring example of living life graciously and to the fullest.

Emilia was preceded in death by her father Antonio S. Bautista, and is survived by her mother Mercedes F. Bautista, Auntie Romana Martin, husband David and their daughters Ella and Hannah King, sister Minerva (Ron), nephew Roman and niece Rosalyn Elizaga, mother-in-law Joan King, sister-in-law Lara King, brother-in-law James King, Jr (Rita). Visitation with family will be held at Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home in Silver Spring, MD on Friday, March 1, 2024, from 2-4pm and 6-8pm.

Emilia was a longtime member of the Church of the Epiphany in Washington, DC. She was baptized, confirmed, and married there. Her daughters were also baptized there. Services will be held at the Church of the Epiphany on Saturday March 2, 2024 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers, the charity within the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Georgetown University Hospital.

Written with love by Jan Power, Caroline Keeler, Lara KingKathryn Bauman-Hill, and Mary Ann Montgomery.


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