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Elaine Delaney

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Elaine Delaney Obituary
Florence Elaine Turville Delaney, dubbed The Indispensable Ms. Delaney in a Winchester Star article extolling her extraordinary volunteer service to her community, died at her Winchester home on August 2, 2010. Her family and her ever-present collie dog were at her side. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Henry R Delaney, their three children, Raymond T., Elaine Delaney Winn, and Karen Demasco, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. She was the beloved sister of the late Admiral William C. Turville, USNMC and was the daughter-in-law of the late Admiral and Mrs. Henry R. Delaney, USNDC. Born in Boston to Dr. and Mrs.William H.H.Turville (Florence M. Griffin,) Mrs. Delaney grew up as a Navy Junior, often moving between U.S. Naval hospital bases where her father was in command. However, Mrs. Delaney always felt most at home in Boston where her mothers family had lived for generations and Philadelphia, from where her father hailed. Her close-knit extended family had much influence on her character. Mrs. Delaney clearly remembered working with the women of her mothers family to fold gauze sponges for the American Red Cross and preparing boxes of food and clothing for people in need. Mrs. Delaney was well known in Winchester as an active volunteer to many of the towns organizations. For a detailed obituary covering her earlier life, please visit http://www.costellofuneralhome.com. As the United States prepared to enter WWII, Mrs. Delaneys father led a group of fellow University of Pennsylvania Medical School alumni to Guadalcanal on a classified mission to develop and prepare mobile military hospitals for deployment in combat areas. She returned to the safety of Philadelphia with her mother and her brother. She often joined her mothers circle of friends to crochet afghans for soldiers convalescing in military hospitals. She attended Mrs. Turnbulls School for Girls and graduated high school from Friends Select of Philadelphia. She applied to the Womens College of the University of Pennsylvania -which also let her be near her brother who was then at the Universitys Medical School. She won a merit based scholarship from the Philadelphia Inquirer that helped to defray her tuition costs for her four years. Upon her graduation from UPENN with the Class of 1945, Mrs. Delaney entered the Masters program at the Simmons College School of Social Work. She was sent as a Social Work intern for the American Red Cross to St. Albans US Naval Hospital, Queens, NY. There she became reacquainted with the son of another naval family, Henry R. Delaney, Jr., who was also at St. Albans completing his medical internship after graduation from Georgetown Medical School. The couple soon realized that they were destined to marry. Mrs. Delaneys father agreed to the match but stipulated that her pet collie was part of the deal and was to stay with her parents after she married. When she agreed, her parents knew their daughter felt she had found her perfect mate for life. The two were married in the Chapel at the Naval Hospital, Newport RI, where her father was then in command. The newly married Navy couple served in Washington, DC for two years before being ordered to the U.S. Naval Air Station, Coco Solo, Panama. There they lived across the street from quarters that Mrs. Delaney had lived in as a child with her family. Panama brought them a lifetime of friends and adventures that to this day bring joyful memories. They returned to the United States in the early fifties and choose Winchester as the town where they would raise their family in civilian life. At the same time Mrs. Delaneys parents decided to retire from active duty, and they joined their daughter and her family in civilian life in Winchester. Her father was quickly approached by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to design and oversee the building of a new chronic care hospital. Dr. Turville oversaw the building of the Lemuel Shattack Hospital in Jamaica Plain from conception to ribbon cutting and then stayed on as the hospitals first administrator. Her fathers choice to continue to use his talents to serve rather than simply retire was a true inspiration to Mrs. Delaney. She vowed to find ways to serve her new community. She hoped she too would stay a vital worker until a very old age. In the five decades since her family returned to the Boston area, Mrs. Delaneys picture has appeared in various periodicals numerous times in tribute to volunteer activities that spanned from the American Red Cross, Lawrence Memorial Hospital Womens Auxiliary, the Massachusetts Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals, and the Winchester Scholarship Foundation, as well as other Winchester organizations. Her organizational prowess combined with her gentle manner enabled her to accomplish much. One example of her great ability to organize was when Mrs. Delaney was Chair of the EnKa Societys annual street fair; a job most agree is truly daunting. But few realize that within weeks of her highly successful EnKa Fair, Mrs. Delaney hosted a lovely, large wedding for a daughter that included accommodating a dozen house guests. In the words of long time friend, Sandy Alla, In the midst of a world whirling around her, Elaine was always a calm, steady, beautiful force. Besides remaining an Honorary member of EnKa Society and the Winchester Home and Garden Club until the end of her life, Mrs. Delaney was also a founder and a Trustee of the Winchester Senior Association. A front page story on her work with the WSA coincidently appeared in their August, 2010 newsletter that was released for circulation just days before her death. With her growing awareness that her devoted husband would survive her, Mrs. Delaney requested that he receive a posthumous gift from her. Thirteen days following her death, an 8 week old collie puppy arrived from Black Rapid Falls, Wisconsin. Willy was presented to Mrs. Delaneys husband on his 90th birthday. Her family decided to give Willy a fitting name for his American Kennel Club Pedigree; Hickory Creeks Willy That The Angels Sent. As in life, Mrs. Delaney had seen to every detail. She created a satisfying and productive life of community involvement as she had hoped to, but she had always kept a steady gaze on her family and touched each of their lives with her loving ways. In lieu of flowers, gifts made in her name to either EnKa Society, 1037 Main St. Winchester, Ma 01890, Winchester Senior Association, 109 Skillings Road, Winchester, Ma 01890, Collie Rescue League of New England, Inc., CRLNE Treasurer, 463 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910 or the University of Pennsylvanias Undergraduate Scholarship fund, www.upenn.edu would be greatly appreciated.

Published in The Winchester Star from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23, 2010
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