Very sadly, on April 30th my friend Elaine passed away from a heart attack. We used to sing together in the church choir. I stopped attending church over a year ago, so I had lost touch with her,

While I was still attending church, we would sometimes go out after the service to eat at Tim Horton’s. Elaine often brought along another friend, a frail, elderly widow for whom a brunch at “Timmy’s” was a real treat.

I'm 3rd from left
Christmas Cantata 2015. Elaine is in the center, in green. I’m to her left.
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Elaine is third from the left, in black.
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A reunion concert. Elaine is second from the left.
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Summit on 16th United Methodist Church
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Christmas Cantata 2015, Elaine is standing and wearing a green top, I am sitting to her left.
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Christmas Cantata 2015, Elaine is in a green top and I’m to her left.
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Christmas Cantata 2013. Elaine is just to the right of the director, Susan McQuilken. I’m hidden behind the director, although you can just see my cane.

Elaine was only 64 when she suddenly passed away. 😦

She was the most kind and gentle person you could ever want to know.

When I was in the hospital for five days over Easter 2018, Elaine came to visit me and brought me the sweetest stuffed Easter bunny and a cute card that read, “From one cool chick to another.”

Elaine Oelker, Easter 2018, University Hospital visit
Elaine on Easter morning 2018, visiting me in the hospital.
Elaine Oelker's 2018 Easter gifts to Timi in University Hospital
These are the things Elaine brought me on Easter morning. I love the card, which I still have. It says, “From one cool chick to another.” But the best thing she brought me was her calm reassurance that I would be OK, which I was.

A little anecdote illustrates Elaine perfectly. She and I were both cat people, and several cats lived in each of our homes. One day we went to the Columbus Museum of Art and while we were there we bought the same Egyptian cat bookmark from the gift shop. I lost mine before we even got out of the museum, and Elaine insisted that I take hers. She was generous to a fault.

I miss her. I wish I had kept up our friendship better. A strange thing is that I suddenly started thinking about her on what turned out to be the last couple of days of her life. I wish that I had called her as soon as the thoughts came to my mind. Maybe I could have had some precious last words with her.

You just never know when anyone’s time will be up. 😦

Because of the coronavirus, her funeral service today is private, family only. Once our church is able to meet again in person, a memorial service will be held in Elaine’s honor.