Elaine-Tanzer-Obituary

Elaine Rhine Tanzer

Portland, Oregon

1943 - 2020

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Elaine Rhine TanzerFeb. 20, 1943 - Sept. 8, 2020 Portland lost a community member of compassion, style, culinary vision, and firm political opinions this past week. Elaine is best known as the owner of Portland's original, premier delicatessen, Elephants, which introduced gourmet eating...

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Elaine will be dearly missed. She was such a warm, gracious and spirited person. She and Jake became friends when we moved to Portland over twenty years ago. It's hard to imagine this place without her and yet we're grateful for all of the time spent with her over the years. In loving memory.

I didn't know Elaine's mother was a "Southern Belle", but that explains a lot! Elaine and I were buddies in high school - and of course she was always great fun, funny, and ready for an adventure - though on Saturdays and outing would have to wait until after she spent some hours helping her father in his office. (At the time I thought this was somewhat inconceivable -- but realize now what excellent training she got in responsibility, capability, and how the business world...

And she liked to dance! Will miss our walks, hikes and in healthier days, the dance classes we pushed each other to work our hardest. Thank you for always believing in me my kindred spirit friend.

To Elaine's Family and Friends - I add my condolences, and my appreciation for the honor of knowing Elaine over so many years, and dating back to high school. Her bright empathy and seriously deep understanding of the world will remain an inspiration. The deli was a perfect outlet for her many gifts. I've shared both the announcements for Jake and her with most all of our class at Wilson High, and wish I could reach out to all of you on behalf of all the replies I have received.

Elaine and I first met in grade school went on to be classmates at Woodrow Wilson High School.One of my fondest Memories is our Saturday morning horseback riding lessons at the Lake Oswego Hunt Club, learning to “Post” English style. I enjoyed our many encounters through the years always talking to me about her latest expansion. I so hope her wonderful “ delis” will continue. I now live in Summerlin, Nevada and continue to seek an “Elephants“ knowing I never will find an Elaine’s creation.

Such good memories of seeing her blossom in the 60's and 70's. Our reunions allowed us to see one another to get caught up. I will miss her.

She and Jake are missed dearly. Photo from my wedding they attended July 9, 2017


Elaine and I were Portland State University classmates. When we reconnected socially earlier this year, Elaine suggested we invite two or three friends to a socially distanced gathering on her patio Wednesday evenings. These were de!ightful events. In late July, Sammye Sanborn and I announced to the Wednesday event that we were getting married. Elaine promptly said, " You should do the wedding here. " And we married on August 9 with the regular happy hour participants as...

In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.