Obituary for Vera Elsea
Vera Rose Elsea, 90, of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away peacefully in a local care center on Friday, September 29, 2017 after complications from a hip fracture and continuing memory issues. Mom was born on November 12, 1926 in North Carolina. She was the 5th daughter of 7 children. Mom had so many wonderful memories of growing up along the beach in the 1930's and 1940's. Family was very important to her. Her parents were from large families and her parents' home was the gathering spot for most Sunday dinners.
After high school graduation Mom moved to Wilmington and joined her two older sisters in working for the phone company as a switchboard operator. She loved her work and got to travel to many cities within North Carolina. She met her future husband on a blind date and they married in 1946. Dad took a job working in southern California and they lived in El Centro for the next 7 months. They became tired of living so far from family and decided they wanted to get back to green grass, cooler temperatures, rain, and no more dust storms! They returned to North Carolina in 1947 and two children soon followed . They moved to Jacksonville in 1960 when the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (now CSX) transferred them here. Though she loved North Carolina and returned frequently to visit, she considered Jacksonville her home the rest of her life.
Mom's interests included gardening and flower arranging, travel, genealogy, letter writing, shopping (especially for earrings and shoes!), and she loved the color green. She loved animals and she and Dad had many pets over the years. She was a stay-at-home mom, and enjoyed serving in the PTA, being a den mother, and helping with Girl Scout activities. She participated in many social groups such as the Orchid Society, Super Seniors (at Arlington United Methodist Church), the garden circle, and the women's circle at church. She was a faithful member of Glynlea Grace United Methodist Church and was very active until recent years when her health prevented her from attending.
Mom always enjoyed helping others, and she and Dad enjoyed many years volunteering for Meals on Wheels. After Dad's retirement, they were able to travel to Alaska and Hawaii, which they both loved. Vera's family was her greatest love, and she delighted in hosting gatherings that always included lots of food, laughter, and reminiscences. She was a strong, independent woman who was a true southern lady. She was the epitome of kindness and fairness.
Vera lives on in the hearts of her son, Rod Elsea (Jo); daughter, Linda Walton (Doug); grandchildren, Rachel Bolles (Mike) and David Elsea (Jarod Collens); sister, Lucy Howard of Wilmington, NC; nieces, Sybil Russ of Wilmington, NC; Andrea Jones, of College Station, TX; and Janice Stone of Missouri; nephews, Greg McClelland of Cape Coral, FL; and Tom and Bill Wheatcraft of Missouri.
Mom had two special life-long friends of over 60 years: Mary Prosser of Jacksonville and Celeta Cowan of Burgaw NC. They will both miss her dearly.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of almost 64 years, John "Jay" Elsea, and 5 of her 6 siblings.
A funeral service is planned for Monday, October 9, at the Arlington Park Funeral Home. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. and the service at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Arlington Park Cemetery.
Her favorite charities were the National Parkinson Foundation and the Alzheimer's Association.