Elaine Lois Van Steelant, volunteer of the Wood River Valley for the past decade, quietly passed away at home on April 16, 2009, from cancer.
Her son, Paul Van Steelant of Boynton Beach, Fla., and daughter, Darcy Van Steelant of Ketchum, will dearly miss her. Her ex-husband since 1978, Robert Henry Van Steelant, preceded her in death on Feb. 18, 1994. Elaine is survived by her two sisters, Jacqueline (Walsh) O'Donnell of Sagamore Hills, Ohio, and Martha (Walsh) Chrzanowski of Beardstown, Ill. She was a beloved aunt to their families.
Elaine was born in her family's home on Dec. 9, 1933, in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., to Anthony Walsh and Rose (Van Tiem) Walsh. She married Robert on Jan. 13, 1955. Together they moved their family from the Detroit area to Belle Mead, N.J., in 1968.
Elaine held many positions, as a bank teller, a homemaker, a florist and an art gallery assistant. She retired in 1999 from Kepner-Tregoe where she had worked as a purchasing agent.
Elaine moved to the Wood River Valley in 1999 to be closer to her daughter, to be of service and to enjoy life. She could be found volunteering weekly at the Blaine County Senior Center for many years and she loved walking the horses for all the wonderful people involved with the adaptive riding program at Sagebrush Arena.
Elaine enjoyed dancing, the outdoors, riding horses, chocolate, gardening and reading a good book with her two cats curled up on her lap. She was a gentle and generous woman whose soft brown eyes and sweet smile were loved by all who knew her.
An Irish wake will be held in honor and celebration of her life, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. Join us at the home of Scott Featherstone and Darcy Van Steelant located at 105 Eagle Creek Loop, Ketchum.
Remembrances may be made to Hospice of the Wood River Valley, Blaine County Senior Center or Sagebrush Arena, in lieu of flowers.