Elaine S. Harris (nee Guhl)
BROOKFIELD, IL - Elaine S. Harris (nee Guhl) was born January 19, 1932, in Brookfield, IL, into a Missouri Synod Lutheran family. She died on January 1, 2019, surrounded by her loved ones. She and her husband, Tom, came to tiny Portage in 1959 to raise their four kids in a quiet town. As Portage grew, she became influential in the founding of the Town, and then City, of Portage.
Elaine served as the sparkling personality behind many campaigns and as a precinct committeewoman in multiple elections. She was the president of Portage Jayshees. She will be remembered for her sweetness and humanity as the first face people saw when walking into the Township Assessor's, City Building Department's, and later the Township Trustee's offices.
Elaine's lifelong passion was caring for her husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was generous, loving, and fun. She was known for her straight-to-the-point advice. She was head cheerleader for those she loved. She attended nearly every event her children and grandchildren participated in, including gymnastics and diving meets, equestrian competitions, science fairs, graduations, concerts, and plays, just to name a few. Elaine loved fashion and the sun. Her children and grandchildren are forever grateful for the hearty and infectious laugh that she passed on to them.
Elaine met Tom in high school. Their marriage lasted 67 years, peppered with jitterbugging, socializing with friends, motorcycling cross country, tent camping, and, for the last 19 years, combing the beaches of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Along the way she made treasured friends from around the world. She loved life.
Elaine was devoted to a tight circle of her friends. She enjoyed bridge, time with her Bunch for Lunch, Tri Kappa, and any kind of church or political gathering. To say that she kept active is an understatement. Two weeks before her death, she was still walking the neighborhood every day, rain or shine.
Elaine is survived by her husband, Tom; children Rick Harris, Nancy Vaidik (Jim Stankiewicz), Julie Elisha (Jeff), and Christine Lopez (Dean); grandchildren Kristin Stankiewicz, Kelly Stankiewicz (Leo Trautwein), Amanda Hernandez (Ryan), Kyle Telechan (Elise), Alex Harris, Cameron Lopez, Juliana Lopez, Lexi Cesario (CJ), and Jillian Elisha; and great-grandchildren Zev Kreuscher, Emery Hernandez, Hawthorn Kreuscher, Caio Trautwein, Max Hernandez, Kinzley Elisha, Elisha Cesario, and Livia Elaine Trautwein.
Visitation will be held at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 6540 Central Ave., Portage, IN on January 12, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. (followed by a memorial service at 2:00 p.m.). Because of her devotion to her church of nearly 60 years, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Peter's Lutheran Church. We, the survivors, are looking forward to a joyous celebration of a life well lived.