Elaine Graves. Courtesy of the Author

By Beth Hall 

Elaine Graves, 77, passed away on Saturday, December 25, 2021. She was born June 2, 1944. She was a long-time resident of River Park and an active member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. She was known as a wonderful and thoughtful friend, for her compassion and sense of social justice, as a traveler and as an energetic volunteer. She is survived by family in California that she enjoyed visiting, including her beloved nephews Ben and Pat and her grandnieces Eddy (3), Ella (4) and Evie (2). Each was named with the initials “EG” in honor of their Nana Elaine.

Elaine grew up in Salinas, California.  Her father was a childhood friend of John Steinbeck. Elaine was very fond of flamingoes and wore hats, masks and carried shopping bags covered with them.

Professionally, Elaine was with Ullico Inc., a holding company of the Union Labor Life Insurance Company, from 1983 to 2003, rising to lead public relations. She coordinated logistics and managed exhibits at 18 Washington, DC trade shows, 18 stockholders’ meetings and a building dedication. After leaving Ullico, she was a consultant to the American Century Theater and the Lincoln Theater, a public relations consultant for Southeastern University and coordinated conferences with the National Council on Aging. She also worked every summer since 2004 as a sales associate at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and National Museum of the American Indian.

Some of the many volunteer activities that Elaine was involved with included the Southwest Chapter of AARP, the Association of Women in Communications, River Park committees and the California State Society.  She also helped create and build Waterfront Village to help seniors in the neighborhood. Most recently, she helped deliver lunches and produce to seniors at River Park during the pandemic.

A service is not scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to United Farm Workers ( https://ufw.org/sparechange/ and St. Augustine’s Church (https://www.staugustinesdc.org/donate ) Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.josephlawler.com

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