Eulogy by Paul Macks

To be standing here again so soon is both strikingly sad and yet not so unexpected. Marcelle was a strong and dedicated individual – to her husband, her family and her church. She knew what she wanted and she went about making it happen with a fierce determination.

She came here to Los Alamos as a young woman and made her way in this most unique little town with its rules and restrictions. She and Dan established themselves as fixtures in the developing business arena and part of the basic fabric of the community. Marcelle’s strength helped her get through the lean times and instill in her children a sense of responsibility and purpose that is reflected in their lives and their children’s lives. And speaking of her children, my brother and sisters in law, it’s very easy to know everyone’s age. As long as you know one, you can add or subtract three years to get the rest. I’m pretty sure that George Gershwin wrote “I Got Rhythm” with Dan and Marcelle in mind.

She was also a stickler for remembering occasions. No birthday, anniversary or Easter ever went unrecognized. A card or gift was sure to arrive ahead of time. Usually something to eat. For several years the mixed nut collection was in vogue and of the last few years the ever popular Cougar Cheese. And a thank you note had better not be ignored. This was clearly drilled into the psyche of her children as something to be passed on as our kids will surely attest to. She was also acutely aware of everyone’s likes and dislikes although once etched in her internal file, changes were not forthcoming. Somewhere in that in file under foods is the card that reads “Paul comma enchilada casserole”.

In her later years, quilting became her passion. And I’m sure had there been enough time; there would have been no one in the extended Elliott family without one of her magnificent creations. Along with her indomitable spirit these beautiful heirlooms will be passed along for generations.

At Dan’s funeral Mass, Father Carney remarked how he and Marcelle were not just joined at the hip; they were joined at the heart. This thought has stuck with these ensuing months and brings to mind a Julie Miller song that creates a similar visual imagery with its opening lines,

You can have my heart

Though it isn’t new

It’s been bruised and broken

And only comes in blue.

I believe that in these last few weeks, Marcelle and her weak and saddened heart needed to desperately remake that connection that had sustained them all these years. And as usual, Marcelle got her way. Just like we knew she would.


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