Elaine Shemas George, 87, entered into eternal rest with the Lord on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the Goerlich Center in Sylvania after a long battle with Alzeimer's disease. She was a loving wife, mother, sister and aunt who will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Elaine was born July 18, 1925, in Toledo, the youngest of five children, to Constantine (Frank) and Melvina Shemas and grew up on Mulberry Street in Toledo's North End Syrian-Lebanese community. Elaine attended Lagrange Elementary School and graduated from Woodward High School as valedictorian in 1943. Elaine was known for her outgoing, cheerful personality, infectious smile and sharp intellect, earning straight A's throughout school.
On June 29, 1952, Elaine married Dalour G. George and together they raised two children, Matthew and Kelly. The family's home on Grantley Road was a center of many Sunday and holiday gatherings with the Shemas and George families. Elaine loved to cook and enjoyed serving the Lebanese dishes she learned to make from her mother. The Blade's longtime food editor, Mary Alice Powell, once visited Elaine at her home with Elaine's relatives and friends for a feature article on Lebanese cooking. Elaine also loved singing and dancing and sang with the Toledo Choral Society. She was known for her meticulous organization of everything from recipes and household bills to newspaper articles she clipped and sent to her children, nieces and nephews.
Elaine worked for Lasalle's and for St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where she held positions in the sleep center and as secretary to the vice president.
Family was important to Elaine, and so was her Christian faith and church community. She was a longtime member of St. Elias Orthodox Church. Her activities included cooking and baking for bazaars and lamb roasts and singing in the St. Elias choir, where her alto voice was a mainstay. Elaine loved the hymns of the church and even as her memory failed late in life, she could still join in when her friends from the choir sang to her. Elaine led Bible studies in her home, using passages she had underlined in her well-worn copy. Elaine was a Sunday school teacher, secretary of the St. Elias Ladies Society and a member of the Order of St. Ignatius.
Left to cherish her memory are her loving children, Matthew George and Kelly (Allen) Fingerle, and grandchildren, Christine Fingerle, Michelle (Erik) Mayer, Laura Fingerle and Daniel Fingerle, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Elaine was preceded in death by her husband, Dalour; siblings, James, Elsie, Nicholas and Rose, and granddaughter, Theresa.
Visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Ansberg-West Funeral Home, 3000 W. Sylvania Ave., with Trisagion prayers at 7:00 p.m. Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at St. Elias Orthodox Church, 4940 Harroun Rd., Sylvania. Burial will be in Toledo Memorial Park.
Elaine's family would like to express special thanks to the staff at the Goerlich Center, who treated her like family during her several years there, and to ProMedica Hospice.
The family requests memorial contributions to St. Elias Church. Online condolences may be made at www.ansberg-west.com