Elsie Eccleston Obituary (2008) - Phoenix, AZ - The Arizona Republic
Elsie Eccleston
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Elsie Eccleston, 94, of Phoenix, AZ passed away peacefully July 2, 2008.
She has joined her husband of almost 60 years Henry Eccleston. Elsie is survived by her daughter Roberta (Cal) Crane of Phoenix, son Raymond (Trudy) Eccleston of Las Vegas and Prescott, 4 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. In New Jersey in the 1950s Elsie was a successful saleswoman for Encyclopedia Americana. She moved to Phoenix in 1955. The family suggests that any donations in Elsie's name be sent to the American Heart Assn. or St. Vincent de Paul Society, 1954 N. 24th St. Phoenix. AZ 85008. A family memorial Mass is planned for this summer.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Jul. 8, 2008.
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16 entries
August 7, 2008
Dear Elsie:

I shall miss our visits over the past few years. After my mom passed away, I found great comfort visiting with you. You will always be rememberd in my heart and prayers.
Love, Arlene Metha
Arlene Metha
August 6, 2008
Grandma taught me the beautiful importance of mirth and mischief. She loved to laugh...and her laughter was so deliciously infectious that when she laughed we all laughed. Her attempts to tell jokes were famously non-sequiturial...she found the punchline so funny that the lead up was filled with her giggles to the point of incomprehension to all but Grandma. Ah, for the grace of yesterday's laughter :)
Michael Crane
August 5, 2008
Knowing that I shall never hear Bert say, "Hi Evie, Mom would like to talk to you" has left an emptiness in my heart. I know at 78 years of age, having lost many dear ones that this space shall soon be filled with wonderful memories of time spent with Aunt Elsie. Most will be of our younger days. All will be joyful and bring a smile or even a hardy laugh. I found it hard to think of her without Uncle Harry. They were just good plain old fashion fun to be with. Now they are again HarryandElsie. Aunt Elsie is the last of my aunts and God in his wisdom has let us have the best for last. Evie
Evelyn Wiswesser
August 5, 2008
As a teenager when this wonderful (soon to be aunt) entered my life. I was awe struck. Yes she was just perfect, showing me High heel shoes, and don't forget the powder and paint. The special twinkle in her eyes showed us all there was so much in life to enjoy. Our lives were seperated by miles but that special love always shone through.
Love, Mary
Mary Henise
August 3, 2008
We met Mrs. E. in 1957 while we were students at ASC (ASU). Mr. and Mrs. E. were so gracious to invite us to their home, especially for holiday dinners since we both lived far from our families. We have so many wonderful memories of the time we spent with them. Mrs. E. with her wonderful New Jersey accent, polished fingernails (unlike our mothers) and the straight woman to Mr. E's jokes. What a wonderful couple. We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to know them both.
Sam and Jane Rua
August 2, 2008
2008 in God's time

Dear Elsie and family --both here and hereafter,
By now surely you have had a joyful reunion with that mysterious common ancestor responsible for Roberta's and my chimerical identity --we have been mistaken for each other, called sisters and even twins (from a distance, for sure!) The top story is Roberta's hair salon owner taking my hand, gushing: "Oh, you must be Roberta's sweet little mother!"
Also clear to me is the time at Kivel when you took my hand, telling a nurse: "She reminds me so much of MY Roberta!"
Leo and I will always remember your mischievous giggle shared only with Henry in the car going to {was it?} Cal's retirement dinner. Did you giggle that same way when you tried to initiate a food fight with the old ladies at Kivil? What spunk! I love it!
Keep us in your heart as we do you.
Leo & Naola Conner
July 27, 2008
I met Mom in the spring of 1959. She was in her mid-40s and not very healthy. She told me a few months later that she did not believe she would live to be 50. So much for that prophecy!

During the 49 years that I have known her, I have realized what a wonderful, loving, and caring wife she was to her husband. My fondest memory was her unknowing and naive sense of humor which complemented Dad's hilarious dialogues. They were truly a "George Burns and Gracie Allen" couple--a rare joy today.

During the past 15 years I have often shared with her that she was giving me a sneak preview of what I can expect to experience in the years to follow as her daughter's husband. I am grateful for her example of perseverance, determination, and appreciation of the important things in life. However, most of all, I thank God that Mom gave birth to Roberta, my wife of nearly 48 years.

Elsie's "favorite" (and only!) son-in-law.
Cal Crane
July 24, 2008
I knew Elsie Eccleston in two capacities. One was as the mother of my longtime dear friend, Roberta. The other as a co-worker at Sears-Phoenix where she was a comptometer operator extraordinaire. I also remember her as a very skilled card player particularly at double solitaire.

Whenever I think of Elsie (although to me she will always be Mrs. Eccleston), I remember her smiling—a warm, friendly, happy-to-see you smile.

Jack and I send our condolences to her family.
Juanita Josel
July 21, 2008
I have been looking through family photo albums from 1965-1977 and have been reminded of Grandma's wigs! Her fastidious attention to her appearance. She retained that, and her dignity, all the way through her final years in the nursing homes. It was here, in these homes, that I first felt I had a relationship with my Grandmother. She was so immediate in her gratitude to see me. I felt vital upon arrival and inadequate upon leaving. On one of my last visits with her, it took Elsie nearly a half hour to realize that the person wheeling her through the halls was her granddaughter, "Cathy"; a name she had the habit of uttering with such elongation that it felt like pure longing, Caaaaa-th-eeeee. Well, on this visit, there was some Wayne Newton look-alike singer on hand, with whom, out of the most distant but most intact parts of her memory, she began to sing along. I myself cannot remember what Tony Bennett song it was, but sung, and deeply, she did, transported really to what must have been what my mother describes as the "hey day". It was then, in the prime of Elsie's communion with Henry that she gave her most public gift -- the lightness of laughter. He could get her to realize belatedly that she had been the brunt of a joke, and that slow dawning always brought her own laughter to tears. This excessive, unceasing humility was infectious and was something that she gave until the end. Elsie was never a victim, she was a catalytic converter. She had a strength that surprised us all, surviving Henry for well over a decade. It was here in a way that she emerged from his shadow, quick to friendship with her neighbors, sweet in allowing the few remaining men their amorous overtures, such kindness would attend her knowing smile to them. I am grateful for these moments, for having shared them with my Grandmother as a conspirator. Even though her life was long and full and her death, "inevitable", there is her spark that is gone. For that, there is no consolation, not even memory which has a habit to fix. For the surprises that Elsie perpetuated, a delight infused the space around her. That will never be adequately recalled for it depended on her presence; a presence I deeply miss.
Cathy Crane
July 20, 2008
To some, death is only the beginning; they may belive that what lies beyond is a wonderful and beautiful journey to salvation. Or maybe they belive that the soul will travel on the back of an angel to a paradise worthy of the garden of Eden. No matter what you belive there will always be the timeless question of whether or not there is something beyond the living, and if there is, what is that something?

In a way i am a little evnvious of my great grandmother, Elsie Eccleston. She has just embarked on one of life's greatest adventures, death. Now is not my time; it is hers. Even though I have shed many a tear for her passing, I know within my heart of hearts that she is where she longs to be, and for that, I am happy. Although in the last few years of her life she was trapped within her body, she now flies free alongside the angels in the kingdom of heaven where God waits to embrace her in his loving arms.
Charlotta Charbarneau
July 20, 2008
For most of my life, I never recognized what a really strong woman my mother was, probably because she was always so overshadowed by my dad's outgoing personality and sharp wit, and always playing straight man to his jokes.

In writing my memoirs, I did note what a crack saleswoman Mom was for Encyclopedia Americana, sometimes making three sales in one night, meaning a $225 commission in 1950s money. My brother Ray estimated that in one year Mom grossed the equivalent of over $400,000 in current dollars!

When my parents decided to move to Arizona because of Mom's progressing arthritis, she was the one who drove Ray and me here, while Dad stayed in New Jersey until the house was sold. Not only was the entire back seat and trunk filled with packed boxes, but from western Pennsylvania and over the intervening 2000 miles to Phoenix, it was all brand new territory for the three of us. The trip took seven days of solo driving, as neither Ray nor I had a driver's license. And when we arrived in this new city, Mom found an apartment to rent, registered us for school, and started looking for work.

And on it goes. Mom was always willing to do her part in whatever new venture she and Dad chose--they owned a delicatessen when I was a toddler, a chicken farm when I was in grade school, and a laundromat when my own kids were young. And though I always considered myself "Daddy's Little Girl", it was my mother who modeled for me a mother's love. She spent her last 13 years as a widow, but now, at last, "Essy Girl" and "Honey Boy" are together once more!
Roberta Crane
July 11, 2008
We only had the opportunity to visit with Elsie a few times, but having known and been friends with her daughter, Roberta and son-in-law, Cal, for nearly thirty years, we know that she must have been a truly great lady and a wonderful human being! Our sincere sympathy is sent to both Roberta and to Cal who helped make her life in Phoenix very, very happy and bountiful in so many big and small ways. We know her whole family will miss her, but she is where she needs to be now. She will be much missed, but always loved and remembered.
Janet and Gene Smith
July 10, 2008
I will never forget the wonderful time I had as a young teen growing up in Avon,Ma. when I went on my first Jet Plane ride to vist my Uncle Cal &Roberta and ,Anne, Cathy, Donna, and Mike my cousin! One of those evenings Donna and myself went out to dinner with Elsie and her dear husband. I cannot tell you the joy it was being with both of them. They both took the time to get to know a young teen from Ma. as well as enjoy the company of my cousin Donna! It was a special time for me. Elsie will be missed! However she has gone to a better place where one day we will all be together with our Lord and Savior! All my love Jean A. Phiilips, Attleboro, Ma.
Jean Phillips
July 9, 2008
Elsie was a very sweet "lady", and we will miss her smile and warm welcome when we visited her. She is now once again with her special husband Henry and feeling no pain! Our condolences to her wonderful and special family.
Bob and Sally Stefun
July 8, 2008
Dear Cal & Roberta & dear family members: Please know that you our in our thoughts and prayers for your loss of your Mom,Grandmother, & GreatGrandmother as well as dear friends. Please take comfort in knowing that you now all have a dear guardian angel to watch over you. All Our Love and Prayers, Jean and Tom from Attleboro,Ma.
Jean & Tom Phillips/Currier
July 8, 2008
Elsie was the kind of person that you couldn't help but love even after meeting her just once. I will miss her smile, how she would hold my hand and give it a kiss every morning. My son Sam grew very fond of her while volunteering this summer and was very sad to hear of Elsie's passing. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed.
Samantha Bewley
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