ELAINE FRANCIS MAHONEY
Elaine Francis Mahoney passed away on November 14, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona.
She was predeceased by her parents Charles Francis Mahoney and Lillie Mae Mahoney.
Elaine was born in Portsmouth, Virginia on May 31, 1940. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1957 and attended Old Dominion University when it was an extension of William & Mary College. Elaine's career began with Cooper, Spong and Davis Law Firm in Portsmouth, and afterwards, she worked at Virginia Tech, Clinch Valley College (now University of Virginia at Wise), James Madison University and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In Arizona, she worked for Artisoft and MIDS computer software companies and was on the staff that made the Gemini North Telescope located in Mauna Kea, Hawaii a reality.
Elaine's love of the West began in childhood when she enjoyed going to Western movies at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Portsmouth. She was an enthusiastic walker, runner, biker, and swimmer. The Bisbee, AZ 1000 Great Stair Climb Race first drew her to the state. She settled in Tucson and enjoyed 30 wonderful years exploring the West. Elaine also loved traveling to Canada, especially the Maritime Provinces.
She leaves behind her former husband, Leonard Womble of Nitro, West Virginia, their two sons, William F. Womble of Daytona Beach, Florida and Charles A. Womble of Colorado Springs, Colorado, along with grandchildren, great grandchildren, her sister Linda Mahoney of Portsmouth, Virginia, plus many beloved cousins. She also leaves behind her companion of over 20 years, Alfred Garcia of Tucson, AZ, along with his children and grandchildren. Elaine and Al had a multitude of adventures for over 20 years.
Elaine was an accomplished pianist beginning at the age of three. She won state contests and played several concerts in Wise, Virginia and at West Virginia University. She admired composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, with whom she once exchanged letters. She played on the radio in her early childhood and when she was six years old, she loved the Bumble Boogie recorded by Freddie Martin. She tried to buy the sheet music; however, she was told her hands were too small to reach the octaves. As soon as that was possible, she mastered the piece, and it remained a lifelong favorite. There were many impromptu concerts one of which was played for the Portsmouth Fire Department. Our piano in the garage caught fire from fireplace ashes, and once the flames were doused, Elaine sat at the still smoking piano and entertained the firemen.
Her Steinway pianos were her prized possessions. Both pianos are currently on loan to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
Anyone wishing to make a donation please do so to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima County AZ, which she loved.
Elaine's final resting place is Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens in Suffolk, Virginia.
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