Obituaries » Elaine R Warick
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July 17, 1937 - June 24, 2023
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Elaine R. Warick was born on July 17 in 1937 in the state of Missouri. However, she primarily lived in Arizona for most of her early life – including stints in Kingman and a small town on the rim of the Grand Canyon, where her father, Milton, worked with the US Cavalry in coordination with Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. Elaine and her younger brother, Michael, loved the outdoors and were exposed to the culture and lore of the Old West as well as the Navajo culture.
After her family moved to the community of Belmont Shore near Long Beach in the Fifties, Elaine was studying journalism at a local college, when she married and had her daughter, Catherine Ann, in 1958. When this marriage ended, Elaine worked a series of jobs, including one stint as a laundress for the world-famous flamenco dancer, Jose Greco (a job that was as strange as it sounds, she always said).
Eventually, she was working at the brain trauma center, Rancho Los Amigos, as a nursing unit secretary. There her cousin, a doctor, ended up giving his “little black book” of possible dates to his friend, Lawrence H. Warick, a doctor finishing his residency at Los Angeles County Hospital. Under the entry about Elaine it said, “My cousin. Likes to dance. Mother is a great cook!” As a result of these intriguing remarks, Larry took Elaine out on a date and was smitten, as was she. The pair ended up marrying, and adding a son, David, to their little family of three in 1963.
Elaine was ahead of her times in many ways. She eschewed the typical role of doctor’s wife and continued her own writing and artistic pursuits with the support of her new husband. Larry introduced world traveling to Elaine’s life, and she became a true lover of international travel. Elaine journeyed to China, North Africa, the Middle East, extensively through Europe, and to South America. Elaine was one of the first suburban mothers in her area to include her children in many of these journeys, inventing ingenious ways to accommodate and entertain Cathy and David in the decidedly not child-friendly travel services of the day. She also was an early champion of organic foods and supplements, in an effort to improve her children’s health.
In the Seventies, Elaine did a remarkably bold thing: she went back to finish her college degree as the mother of two children. She weathered confused responses from some students, befriended many of her class as a sort of den mother, and also battled cruel remarks from several professors who told her she should be home in the kitchen and taking care of her children, rather than trying to gain a higher education. Elaine persevered, however, and triumphantly got her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from U.C.L.A.
Elaine had a passion for reading, researching, and writing. She especially loved the mystery genre, and was always trying to detect dark plots and criminal mischief lurking just below the surface of her suburban life. One result of this passion for mystery, was Elaine calling the FBI about strange goings on in a neighboring house. The FBI was suitably impressed with this detailed reportage, and gave Elaine a true-life assignment assisting them in an ongoing investigation – by taking notes on the comings and goings of these mysterious neighbors who were (indeed) later implicated in the famous “Koreagate” financial scandal.
In the Eighties, Elaine and Larry wrote a groundbreaking psycho-biographical study of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. She later worked with Larry as his medical copywriter and editor. They were truly a fantastic team and greatly supported one another.
All the while, Elaine continued to write and publish poetry and short stories well into the 2000s. Like a Hind Let Loose (1992) was a book of stories and poems, followed by another collection called Lova’s Alley (1993). Other publications included poetry and stories published in Writer’s Digest, Los Angeles Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Saturday Review of Literature, Eureka Literary Magazine, Long Shot, Midstream, Mindprints, the International Poetry Review, Onthebus, Paintbrush, River Oak Review, Phantasmagoria, ReAl, Oregon East, Rattle, and the Pikeville Review. Eventually, Elaine was honored with a nomination for a Pushcart Prize in 2005. Finally, in 2008, she published her episodic autobiographical novel Don’t Tell Your Mother, detailing her life and adventures in the Southwest of the Mid-Century.
Elaine was a devoted wife, dedicated mother, delightful grandmother, literary champion, and bold, principled citizen. She cared about society and her role in society; and she made sure that her children knew how important it was to cherish morality and ethical behavior in the world.
Elaine – predeceased by her beloved husband Larry – passed away peacefully on June 24, 2023 in Brentwood, California. She is survived by her brother Michael Gorodezky and his family, as well as by her daughter, Cathy, and her son David and his family (wife, Amy, and grandson, Will). She will be cherished and missed forever.