She was one of the bright spots of our period of years at Victoria Ave. United Church in Chatham.
In her late seventies. Widow of a prominent local doctor. Mother of Rick, a counseling psychologist. For years a speech therapist helping stroke victims in recovery.
She couldn't have been better placed. Effervescent. Beautiful English accent. Beautiful singing voice. (We were in the choir with her). A solid Evangelical faith. Never long-faced about it.
Back in England she had had her time on the stage, and it showed in her expressive face, a face which could register all kinds of emotions convincingly.
Elsie took a particular liking to our three-year old daughter. Instant grandmother. Of course with her animated presence, she was an instant hit with Lauren.
I remember attending a Christian conference in Kitchener with Elsie and others from the church. It was evident how quickly she could warm up to people who were total strangers but for the common link of Christ. This was also Hilary's birthday (July) and there was a little party for my wife back in one of the hotel rooms after evening service.
Elsie's son was an accomplished photographer and he presented Hilary with a small framed print of one of his award winning pictures. It was shot almost at ground level through a Kent County field of wheat, and looking toward a beautiful sunset. It suggested the harvest of souls to glory which has always been the heart's desire of our Saviour. Dear fun-loving, compassionate Elsie had played her part in that harvest. Often in unpremeditated ways. The picture still has a place of honour by our front door.