Elaine Frances Wharton Weatherly
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SALISBURY—Elaine was born Sept. 3, 1920, in Accomack, Va., to the late Ida and Howard Wharton; she was the third of seven children. She grew up in a loving and supportive home, and in close proximity of other family members and friends, on a rural road that was later re-named "Wharton Road" because so many members of the Wharton family lived there. Elaine passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, July 7, 2013, with family and friends around her.
Elaine graduated from Mary N. Smith High School in Accomack, and Virginia State College in Petersburg, Va., where she earned a degree in education. She taught in the Accomack County school system until shortly before January, 1942, when she married James Harvey Weatherly and moved 60 miles north to Salisbury.
Elaine became a life partner with her husband. Shortly after they married, Jim, as he was called, was drafted into the Army. While he was away from 1943-1946, Elaine managed their businesses, and began to become involved in the local community in Salisbury; a process which she continued throughout her life in Salisbury. She became a founding member of a social and philanthropic club for women called the "Companions", and began attending St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church which she joined and remained a member until her death. Elaine also volunteered for regional chapters of March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society.
Her family responsibilities did not diminish her interest in community activities and public service. In the mid-1970s, she was appointed to a seat on the local Social Services Board of the Wicomico Department of Social Services. She was also appointed by former Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel to the local selective service board--the first African American woman ever to serve on such a board in the State of Maryland.
Elaine's life was devoted to her children and her family. She cared for many family members in her home who were elderly or sick, including her Uncle Will, her sister Mariah, her brother Charles, her father Howard, and her husband Jim who died after a long battle with cancer in 1981. Elaine was soon after diagnosed with breast cancer, which she fought and survived for 27 years.
She leaves her seven daughters-, Doris Jean, Florence, Adrienne, Michelle, Elaine, Janet and Sadie; five grandchildren, Jason, Kitwana, Ernest, Victoria, Matthew, and Andrew; and six great-grandchildren; her brother Benjamin and sister Emily and many nieces, nephews, in-laws and extended family members who loved and cherished her.
Funeral services will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul A.M.E Zion Church, at 410 Delaware Avenue in Salisbury. Viewing will begin at 10 a.m.
Published in The Daily Times on July 11, 2013