Elaine Tatman, In memoriam

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The family of Elaine Annette (Taube) Tatman remembers her with much love and gratitude and recently honored the fourth anniversary of her passing on Sept. 11, 2009. She was born in Chicago on July 11, 1920 to Arthur Albert Charles Taube and Hedwig Taube. Her parents lived in a West Side neighborhood among a large extended family whose elders were first-generation German immigrants.

Elaine attended elementary school at Grace Lutheran School, which at the time was located at Belleforte and Augusta in Oak Park before its later move to River Forest. She graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1938. She was a member of the Arts and Crafts Club, preparing gifts for needy children during the holiday season; Footlights, the junior class Drama Club; Terpsichore Club, providing dance training and support for school plays; Forum, one of two debate clubs for girls; and the Senior Class Drama Club.

In her senior year she was well reviewed for her performance in the leading role of Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, in the senior class play, Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall.

Elaine attended Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind. from 1938 to 1940, where she also participated in Drama Club activities. She met her future husband at "Valpo." She built lifelong friendships with members of her sorority, Alpha Phi Delta, including actively participating in a Round Robin letter with seven of her classmates for the next 69 years.

After completing two years of college, Elaine lived at home with her parents and held a secretarial position with the Stevens Candy Company in Chicago. She married William R. ("Bill") Tatman on April 10, 1943 at Grace Lutheran Church, by that time located in River Forest.

The young couple had the significant challenge of beginning a marriage during Word War II; Bill danced at their wedding reception in his Army dress uniform at the former Oak Park Arms. His military service was initially state-side. They first moved to Columbia, S.C. and then to Alexandria, Va., while Bill was stationed at Fort Belvoir and where Elaine worked for the Red Cross.

After the war was over, the young couple took up residence in an apartment on South Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Park and Bill began a career with Illinois Bell Telephone Co. A year later their daughter was born at West Suburban Hospital. A son followed five years later while they were living in a home on North Harvey Avenue.

Elaine was a volunteer in the gift shop at West Suburban Hospital, served on committees at Grace Lutheran Church and for the Valparaiso University Guild, and relished perfecting her artistic eye and hand in many oil painting classes at the Oak Park Art League. Her children, nieces and nephews today treasure nearly 25 paintings that hang in their homes. The Tatman home on North Woodbine earned a 1986 Cavalcade of Pride Award from the Oak Park Community Design Commission "for excellence in maintenance and improvements of property," primarily due to Elaine's innovative color scheme for the colonial home. Her flower garden and landscaping created a lovely, restful outdoor respite for her family and her beloved dogs.

Elaine and Bill moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1994, to be near both of their adult children. They enjoyed 12 years together in Arizona while keeping in regular touch with their many friends in Oak Park and River Forest.

Elaine's memorial service was held at Grace Lutheran Church on April 10, 2010, 67 years to the day after her wedding in the same church. She is remembered for her kindness, quiet grace, and for always thinking of others and their needs before herself. She is survived by her daughter Janet, son Bill, many cousins, and extended family.

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