EDITH “ELLERY” ADELE MCKINLEY ELIZONDO
September 20, 2012
I celebrate the completed Life and Death of my mother Edith Adele McKinley Elizondo. She took her last breath this morning. As many of you may know, she was dancing with Alzheimer’s for the last four years or more. Thank you for all your support and Love. I am surrounded and grateful.
~~ Jon Mark Elizondo, We are all connected
Jon, my prayers are with you. I only met Ellery once, at Centrum sometime in the last decade, but we corresponded for some time about WWII in the Philippines and the books about our families during that time. She loaned me the book about her family during the war, which is not possible to find now and I’m so sorry I didn’t find a way to photocopy it before returning it to her. And I think I sent her Guerrilla Wife, which is about my parents on Panay and my birth there right after the Hopevale massacre. I’ve often wondered in recent years how she was doing—when I met her she knew she had Alzheimers, and when she and I went to lunch together nearby we talked about it (my mother in law was experiencing it at that same time). I thought her a lovely woman, and I’m glad to have known her. I doubt I can make the memorial, but please do send information on it—I’d like to be remembering her at that time.
~~ Susan Fertig
Elise and I celebrate your mother’s completed life. We are grateful for the care Debra has provided in these last years and know Tony and you all will miss her deeply. Ellery was such a great presence at the Kemper Keystone community and encouraged with the rest of us the purchase of the ping pong table that Tony of course managed and brought out for all the visiting church groups. You could count on Ellery being present in the cafeteria having deep discussions with other residents or guests especially any guests from the Philippines from which she escaped as a missionary child by submarine in WWII. She and Tony were the resilient presence as well that kept the Davao house in operation on the southern island of Mindinao. Elleryand Tony also replaced us in Sol de Septiembre where I know her presence was a great gift to many of the women in the village, the bakery, and of course the staff. With fond memories we celebrate her life.
~~ George and Elise Packard
As a young and inexperienced Global Prior, Ellery was one of the ones who was gracious enough to let me learn from my mistakes without rancor and yet with continued nourishing support. Just her face was a human support mechanism. She spiritually nourished me and we rarely even spoke. And with mortality on my mind as so many saints are called home, knowing you have gone with God, I will let go a bit of the anticipation of my own return.
~~ Sunny Walker
I remember Ellery’s talking about having lived in the Philippines as a high school girl. (Her dad was a missionary and they were evacuated when WWII broke out.) When she was assigned to Manila, she thought the Tagalog language she had been fluent in would come back to her fairly easily. She was very frustrated to find that it was gone and not coming back. About six months in to her assignment, she had been doing development in Manila and was exhausted. She got on the bus to go home and wanted nothing much more than a good nap. But the women just behind her would not let that happen. They kept yammering away about the most stupid and trivial things: their kids and their squabbles, the troubles in their marriages, and other nonsense. Ellery was furious; why couldn’t these women shut up and let her sleep? Suddenly, she realized that the women were speaking Tagalog and she was understanding every word. She was so tired that she had lost all her inhibitions and the Tagalog that lay just beneath her conscious mind came out. So from then on, she both understood and spoke Tagalog fluently. She had a great time telling this story on herself.
~~ Pat Druckenmiller
In the San Francisco House, 1970-71, Ellery acquired some bamboo poles and taught the kids a Philippino game kind of like jump rope, but jumping between the poles as they were clapped together in rhythm. She was very good at it.
I believe she and her parents didn’t get evacuated for 2 or 3 years after the war broke out. They were hidden from the occupying Japanese army by local folks in the crawl space under the house until smuggled out on a submarine and taken to Ayers Rock (?) in Australia. Maybe Jon can elaborate. I believe her father wrote a book about it. I feel privileged to have been acquainted with these two heroines.
~~ Jann McGuire
Ellery had loaned the book to me and I was wishing I had made a copy of it before returning it to her, because it is not available from any source. Jon, do you remember the name of it? The cover was black and red, and I believe the title was something about betrayal. Jann, you’re right, they did not get out right away. They were on the island of Mindanao, and my parents were on the island of Panay, where I was born in ’44 after my mother had been in hiding in the jungle for several years. I believe Ellery got out by submarine on the USS Narwhal in ’43. We got out by submarine when I was 3 months old the following year and then went back right after the war (I grew up in the Philippines).
The game you are talking about is actually a Philippine folk dance called Tinikling. It is patterned after the movements of the Tinikling bird as its long legs move in and out of fish traps in the water.
~~ Susan Fertig
Sing it loud, Jon. Your mom deserves it! And peppy, too. Seems I remenber Edith got a bit impatient with songs that dragged . . .
Praise be to God the Father Almighty, praise be to God who came to this earth.
Praise be to God the Spirit eternal, praise be to God forever.
Give thanks for the mystery that we cannot know or see;
The final reality whom we embrace, whom we embrace.
Give thanks that all life is good: give thanks that we are received;
Give thanks that the past’s approved and the future is open, and the future is open.
Give thanks that we all are free to live life responsibly;
Observe, judge, and weigh the fact, decide and act, decide and act.
Give thanks for the will to be the Church in all history;
To care for society and die our deaths, and die our deaths.
~~ Jim Wiegel