Elaine Sorber, 65

Nurse, justice activist, loved the outdoors

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Elaine M. Sorber, RN, 65, of Oak Park, died on May 24, 2018 at Loyola University Medical Center. Born in 1953 in Euclid, Ohio to Kenneth and Helen Mog, she worked her way through St. John College/Ursuline at factory jobs and graduated from Ursuline with her nursing degree.

As an RN, she worked in a variety of medical settings. Her first position was at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals' orthopedic unit and later as a nurse and certified counselor at the Cleveland Clinic Substance Abuse Treatment Unit. She was also involved in peace and social justice activities, participating in numerous demonstrations and meetings. 

A board member of Euclid Community Concerns, she worked on open-housing issues where Oak Park was held up as an example. A lover of the outdoors, she went on backpacking trips with her sister, and, along with her mother and siblings, made many trips to Kiawah Island, South Carolina. It was through the Cleveland Sierra Club that she met her future husband, Russ Sorber, and they went on numerous club outings, including ski trips in the Appalachian Mountains. 

The couple married in 1989 and put down roots in Oak Park. Here, she had long nursing employment at Rush/Anchor HMO in Oak Park, where she worked in adult triage, and at Elmhurst Clinic, where she worked in outpatient pulmonary. Most recently, Elaine was employed as an adult triage nurse at Franciscan Alliance Hospitals. Elaine and Russ were active in Austin Blvd. Christian Church. In 1997, the couple began attending Pilgrim Church where Elaine volunteered at West Suburban PADS. 

Her son, Matthew, born in 1992, was the apple of her eye. She and Matt participated in the Parenthesis parent/child group, which was the source of several lifelong friends. As he grew older, she enjoyed watching him play baseball, including in tournaments all over the Midwest and in Cooperstown, New York. She recently savored his undergraduate and graduate degree ceremonies from the University of Illinois. 

Her love of the outdoors continued with camping trips to the YMCA family camp in Wisconsin with family and friends. In August 2012, Elaine began a battle against central nervous system lymphoma, a rare form of brain cancer. The battle included 23 infections, more than 20 hospitalizations, 15 cycles of chemotherapy and ER visits too numerous to count over the past 5.5 years. With the help of many physicians, medical staff, friends, family and caretakers who became family, she fought courageously until the very end. 

Russ and Elaine's extended family are very grateful for all the support they received through her prolonged illness. The anti-cancer saying "No one fights alone" was never truer than for Elaine. 

Elaine Sorber was the wife of Russ; the mother of Matthew; the sibling of David (Gloria) Mog, Kathleen (Stuart) Greenberg, and the late Kenneth Mog Jr.; sister-in-law of Mary K. (Peter Kropf) Sorber; aunt of Justin (Amanda Fuller) Mog, Joel (Madeline Ostrander) Mog, and Aaron (Sarah) Greenberg; and the daughter of the late Kenneth Sr. and Helen Mog. 

A memorial visitation will be held on Friday, June 8 from 6 until 9 p.m. at Oak Park's Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., 708-383-3191. A memorial service at 2:30 p.m. on June 9 will be held at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St. in Oak Park. 

In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates memorial contributions to the Pilgrim Congregational Capital Campaign which supports ADA accessibility modifications to the church, the Sierra Club Foundation, and/or Housing Forward (formerly West Suburban PADS).

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