Top Banner for Elaine Frakenstein Obituary
Elaine Frakenstein Obituary

Brought to you by Czelusniak Funeral Home

Elaine Frakenstein

Northampton, Massachusetts

December 23, 1926 - May 17, 2024

Elaine Frakenstein Obituary

Elaine Judith Frankenstein passed away on May 17, 2024 at the age of 97, attended to diligently, respectfully, and lovingly till the end by her youngest son, Josh and his spouse, Jaz Tupelo, with whom she lived in the last two years of her life in Northampton, Massachusetts. This was accompanied by the deeply felt presence and engagement of sons William and Steven, and the flood of family children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, her sister and brother-in-law -- who came to have a last conversation and to say goodbye in her last few weeks.

She was born Elaine Judith Leskowitz on December 23, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, the older of two

daughters of parents David and Mae Leskowitz. A tomboy, fun-loving, gregarious child and adolescent, Elaine graduated from William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx, coming of age at the end of World War II, where her father a pharmacist by trade and a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army was out of the house in the European Theater and later in Korea from the time Elaine was age 15 through 21. An independent and intellectual woman, she did not continue her education an unfortunate artifact of those times where women, if not discouraged, were not overly encouraged to pursue higher education.

In her twenties, Elaine more or less eloped and married her first husband, who shall remain unnamed, and whom she gleefully outlived, whose union produced her oldest, William. Divorcing when William was two or three, she moved back in with her parents, who then lived in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan, and worked in an accounting firm where she was introduced to her second husband, Morris, whose union produced Steven and Josh. She and Morris remained together through both difficult and wonderful times, up until Morris’s death in 1987. Elaine and Morris lived in the Briarwood section of Queens, New York, into the late 1960s, and then moved to Northport, New York, and then Commack and Kings Park, settling in later years in Bay Shore. She and Morris had a small summer home in Montauk and spent many special summers in that beach and fishing community.

Elaine moved in with William and his spouse, Pat, in the early 1990s, sharing in the rearing of her three

grandchildren, Aaron, Julia and Maxine, before moving to Delray Beach, Florida, in the late 1990s, where she remained until 2022, when at age 95 she moved in with Josh and Jaz as independence was no longer sustainable.

Elaine’s years living at Kings Point in Florida were among her happiest, as she was socially active as part of a remarkable group of women of a similar age, and close to her beloved sister, Carole, and brother-in-law, Mal Allen. Elaine loved the South Florida climate and lifestyle. She often visited Steven and his spouse, Renate, her grandson, Matthew, and Renate’s mother, Renate, Sr., with whom she forged a lifelong friendship and who visited her as well. They became great friends. Generous in her focus on people, Elaine had wonderful relations with her daughters-in-law, and made clear to her sons that they were lucky guys.

Elaine enjoyed life, and was first and foremost a loving, engaged mother of three boys. She was a homemaker with diverse interests, challenging herself to reliably complete the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in ink! Undaunted by her lack of post-secondary education, Elaine compensated by reading and reading until her eyes gave out, and listening and listening until her hearing failed. Lucid through the end, she had strong opinions politically and culturally, but was a reasoned and balanced thinker. She loved flower gardening, and was dedicated to this as a source of artistry and beauty in her life.

When it came to food, Elaine had a wide palate as long as things weren’t too spicy and was herself an excellent cook, famed for her chicken and matzo ball soup. She had an eclectic taste in music, enjoying everything from the Eagles through Harry Belafonte.

She had an amazing sense of humor coupled with a contagious laugh and thought many things were funny. Her mimicry of Charlton Heston, whom she otherwise disliked, parting the Red Sea at Pat and Bill’s Passover seder, is legendary.

Elaine's joy was her family. Nothing brought her more happiness than having her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren surrounding her. She was a devoted mother and partner, finding fulfillment in nurturing her loved ones. Throughout her life, Elaine held various office jobs to support her family during challenging economic times. She also dedicated time and energy to volunteering in libraries and schools. However, her proudest achievements were that of mother and partner. She encouraged her children to be themselves, fostering Josh as an artist and politically-aware person, Steven as an intellectually-gifted thinker, and Bill as whatever he was going to be which worked out fine in the end.

Elaine is survived and missed by many. Her sons and spouses, Bill and Pat in Highlands, New Jersey, Steve and Renate in El Cerrito, California, and Josh and Jaz in Northampton, Massachusetts, Grandchildren Aaron Steen in New Haven, Connecticut, Matthew Valencia in Los Angeles, California, Julia Steen (Ashley) in Williston, Vermont, Sage (Stout) Johannsen in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Maxine Steen in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, Great- grandchildren Rowan, Spencer and Hannah Ashley, Hazel Johannsen, and Zev and Avi Steen, her sister, Carole, and brother-in-law, Mal Allen, and their children, Susan, Michael and Debbie, and their families.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations be made to Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice, P.O. Box 329, Northampton, MA, 01060-0329, in Elaine’s name and memory. 

There will be a private memorial service in fall of 2024.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Elaine Frakenstein hosted by Czelusniak Funeral Home.

Elaine Judith Frankenstein passed away on May 17, 2024 at the age of 97, attended to diligently, respectfully, and lovingly till the end by her youngest son, Josh and his spouse, Jaz Tupelo, with whom she lived in the last two years of her life in Northampton, Massachusetts. This was accompanied by the deeply felt presence and engagement of sons William and Steven, and the flood of family children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, her sister and brother-in-law -- who came to have a last conversation and to say goodbye in her last few weeks.

She was born Elaine Judith Leskowitz on December 23, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, the older of two

daughters of parents David and Mae Leskowitz. A tomboy, fun-loving, gregarious child and adolescent, Elaine graduated from William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx, coming of age at the end of World War II, where her father a pharmacist by trade and a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army was out of the house in the European Theater and later in Korea from the time Elaine was age 15 through 21. An independent and intellectual woman, she did not continue her education an unfortunate artifact of those times where women, if not discouraged, were not overly encouraged to pursue higher education.

In her twenties, Elaine more or less eloped and married her first husband, who shall remain unnamed, and whom she gleefully outlived, whose union produced her oldest, William. Divorcing when William was two or three, she moved back in with her parents, who then lived in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan, and worked in an accounting firm where she was introduced to her second husband, Morris, whose union produced Steven and Josh. She and Morris remained together through both difficult and wonderful times, up until Morris’s death in 1987. Elaine and Morris lived in the Briarwood section of Queens, New York, into the late 1960s, and then moved to Northport, New York, and then Commack and Kings Park, settling in later years in Bay Shore. She and Morris had a small summer home in Montauk and spent many special summers in that beach and fishing community.

Elaine moved in with William and his spouse, Pat, in the early 1990s, sharing in the rearing of her three

grandchildren, Aaron, Julia and Maxine, before moving to Delray Beach, Florida, in the late 1990s, where she remained until 2022, when at age 95 she moved in with Josh and Jaz as independence was no longer sustainable.

Elaine’s years living at Kings Point in Florida were among her happiest, as she was socially active as part of a remarkable group of women of a similar age, and close to her beloved sister, Carole, and brother-in-law, Mal Allen. Elaine loved the South Florida climate and lifestyle. She often visited Steven and his spouse, Renate, her grandson, Matthew, and Renate’s mother, Renate, Sr., with whom she forged a lifelong friendship and who visited her as well. They became great friends. Generous in her focus on people, Elaine had wonderful relations with her daughters-in-law, and made clear to her sons that they were lucky guys.

Elaine enjoyed life, and was first and foremost a loving, engaged mother of three boys. She was a homemaker with diverse interests, challenging herself to reliably complete the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in ink! Undaunted by her lack of post-secondary education, Elaine compensated by reading and reading until her eyes gave out, and listening and listening until her hearing failed. Lucid through the end, she had strong opinions politically and culturally, but was a reasoned and balanced thinker. She loved flower gardening, and was dedicated to this as a source of artistry and beauty in her life.

When it came to food, Elaine had a wide palate as long as things weren’t too spicy and was herself an excellent cook, famed for her chicken and matzo ball soup. She had an eclectic taste in music, enjoying everything from the Eagles through Harry Belafonte.

She had an amazing sense of humor coupled with a contagious laugh and thought many things were funny. Her mimicry of Charlton Heston, whom she otherwise disliked, parting the Red Sea at Pat and Bill’s Passover seder, is legendary.

Elaine's joy was her family. Nothing brought her more happiness than having her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren surrounding her. She was a devoted mother and partner, finding fulfillment in nurturing her loved ones. Throughout her life, Elaine held various office jobs to support her family during challenging economic times. She also dedicated time and energy to volunteering in libraries and schools. However, her proudest achievements were that of mother and partner. She encouraged her children to be themselves, fostering Josh as an artist and politically-aware person, Steven as an intellectually-gifted thinker, and Bill as whatever he was going to be which worked out fine in the end.

Elaine is survived and missed by many. Her sons and spouses, Bill and Pat in Highlands, New Jersey, Steve and Renate in El Cerrito, California, and Josh and Jaz in Northampton, Massachusetts, Grandchildren Aaron Steen in New Haven, Connecticut, Matthew Valencia in Los Angeles, California, Julia Steen (Ashley) in Williston, Vermont, Sage (Stout) Johannsen in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Maxine Steen in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, Great- grandchildren Rowan, Spencer and Hannah Ashley, Hazel Johannsen, and Zev and Avi Steen, her sister, Carole, and brother-in-law, Mal Allen, and their children, Susan, Michael and Debbie, and their families.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations be made to Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice, P.O. Box 329, Northampton, MA, 01060-0329, in Elaine’s name and memory. 

There will be a private memorial service in fall of 2024.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Elaine Frakenstein hosted by Czelusniak Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Elaine Frakenstein.