Elaine was born September 3, 1920 in Accomac, Virginia to the late Ida and Howard Wharton; she was the third of seven children. She grew up in a loving and supportive home, and in close proximity to other family members and friends, on a rural road that was later re-named "Wharton Road" because so many members of the Wharton family lived there. Elaine graduated from Mary N. Smith High School in Accomac, and Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia where she earned a degree in education. She taught in the Accomack County school system until shortly before January, 1942, when she married James Harvey Weatherly and moved 60 miles north to Salisbury, Maryland.

Elaine became a life partner with her husband. Shortly after they married, Jim, as he was called, was drafted into the Army. While he was away from 1943 until 1946, Elaine managed their businesses, and began to become involved in the local community in Salisbury--a process which she continued throughout her life in Salisbury. She became a founding member of a social and philanthropic club for women called the "Companions", and began attending St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church which she joined and remained a member until her death. Elaine also volunteered for regional chapters of March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society.

Family life was very important to Elaine. By 1960, she and Jim had six children--all girls. She also was a mother to her step-daughter Doris Jean--often leading Elaine to say that she had "seven girls". She never returned to teaching school, but she valued education and began teaching each of her children how to read and write at home before they entered first grade. Her children remember her dropping them off on their first day of school, attending PTA meetings and other school events; Halloween, birthdays, Christmas and just about every party each of them attended. There were family road trips to Accomack and to Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia to visit family and friends.

When the children were old enough, Elaine and Jim introduced their daughters to business as active entrepre- neurs, working during the summer at their roadside fruit market selling fresh, locally grown produce to people traveling Route 50 to Ocean City. The girls considered it a form of punishment, but Elaine told them it was important that they learn the ethic of work--a lesson they valued dearly when they became adults.

Her family responsibilities did not diminish her interest in community activities and public service. In the mid-1970s, she was appointed to a seat on the local Social Services Board of the Wicomico Department of Social Services. She was also appointed by former Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel to the local selective service board-- the first African American woman ever to serve on such a board in the State of Maryland.

Elaine's life was devoted to her children and her family. She cared for many family members in her home who were elderly or sick, including her Uncle Will, her sister Mariah, her brother Charles, her father Howard, and her husband Jim who died after a long battle with cancer in 1981. Elaine was soon after diagnosed with breast cancer, which she fought and survived for 27 years.

Elaine left Salisbury in 2007 when, at the age of 87, her children did not want her to live alone. She lived in Baltimore and in Washington until February 2012. In that year, her daughters devised plan for her to return home to her beloved Salisbury home of more than 50 years.

Elaine was at home when she passed away peacefully on July 7, 2013, with family and friends around her. Elaine leaves her seven daughters--Doris Jean, Florence, Adrienne, Michelle, Elaine, Janet and Sadie; six grandchildren-- Jason, Kitwana, Ernest, Victoria, Matthew, and Andrew; and six great-grandchildren; her brother Benjamin and sister Emily and many nieces, nephews, in-laws and extended family members who loved and cherished her.

Floral Arrangement

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