Cover photo for Elaine Haines's Obituary
Elaine Haines Profile Photo
1942 Elaine 2023

Elaine Haines

July 2, 1942 — August 14, 2023


Elaine Haines, born July 2, 1942, in Landour, India, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on August 14, 2023. She grew up in India, attending Woodstock School in Mussoorie through grade 12, and then graduated from Goshen College, Indiana, with a nursing degree. She loved caring for others and gave her life to service, working alongside her husband in Israel-Palestine at the Hope School in Beit Jala and at the Nazareth Hospital. Elaine later worked to create new care guidelines for residents in nursing homes in eastern Pennsylvania. Above all, she devoted herself to her family: her husband of 59 years, Joe, and her three children Kris (Gill), Kim (John), and Matt (Sari). She enjoyed being “Mom” to Mohamed and Tahani and her loving caregiver, Donna, gave her enormous joy and companionship in her final year. Her countless meals of curry, maqlubbi, and mjeddara will always be remembered, along with her beautiful wildflower centerpieces for each dinner table, countless handwritten cards, and her love of butterflies. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were a source of much joy for her and she attended their birthday, musical, athletic, and graduation events with such enthusiasm and pride. She was a lover of wit and humor, spinning wonderful stories of her life with a combination of Hindi and Arabic and Pennsylvania Dutch. Towards the end of her life, as she struggled with dementia, one of her favorite sayings was the Hindi word for “what to do” (kya kare) and she recited that whenever she was at a loss for what was happening and who the people around her were. Elaine and Joe loved music and for many years had season tickets to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and a variety of chamber music series. She was known to sigh, place her hand on her heart, and close her eyes when she heard a particularly moving piece of music. Her fiery spirit lives on in the homes she created, the lives she touched, and the stories she told. Elaine is survived by her husband, three children, eleven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and siblings Eleanor and James. Her family wishes to thank Donna Ellison, Kelly Moreland, Brookdale Ithaca, Greensprings Natural Cemetery, and Hospicare & Palliative Care Services of Ithaca. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Elaine’s name may be given to Hospicare Ithaca or Mennonite Central Committee.


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