Elaine M. (Caldwell) Strous, 87, of Merrimack, formerly of Manchester, passed away on December 1, 2022, at Catholic Medical Center.
Elaine was born in San Diego, California on October 6, 1935, the daughter of the late Chester and Angela (Diehl) Caldwell. She had worked in the restorative services department for Hillsborough County Nursing Home until her retirement. Prior to that, she had been employed by Child and Family Services and the VNA Home and Hospice of Southern NH. She was a member of the County Nursing Home Volunteer Guild.
Family members include two sons, Charles “Chuck” Thompson and his wife Susan of Bedford, Dexter Thompson and his wife Deola of Sumner, Nebraska; two daughters, Elaine Engelhardt and her husband Ronald of Merrimack, Sherry Asprey and her significant other Allan Kovach of Montgomery, Pennsylvania; seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; two brothers, Raymond Caldwell and Darlow Safley, both of California; a sister, Francis McNeil of Curtis, Michigan; several nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Elaine was extraordinarily caring and kind. She had a gentle voice, but a toughness and sense of humor that carried her through an unsteady childhood and life's other challenges. Her faith was important to her, and she always gave to various charitable causes. Elaine loved gardening. She had a green thumb and a real talent for making things grow where they wouldn't normally survive. She also had an artistic flair for creating special crafts and things, most often by sewing and crocheting. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed preparing wonderful meals for family and friends. Elaine’s favorite holiday was Christmas and there was always a consistent theme with her gifts: “This Christmas I’m giving everyone pajamas” or “this Christmas I’m giving holiday neckties that sing ... and also some pajamas.”
Most of all, Elaine loved her family. Her great-grandchildren affectionately called her "Grandmama." She will be deeply missed and dearly remembered.
A private graveside service will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery, Bedford in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association at https://www.heart.org/. Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Manchester, is in charge of arrangements. To view an online tribute, send condolences to the family, or for more information, visit https://www.phaneuf.net