Daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend to all she met, Elaine Berkey Tormey came into this world on Valentine’s Day in 1947 and lived her life spreading joy and empathy, sharing her passions, and campaigning for the misunderstood and less fortunate.
Born in Oakland, Calif., she spent her childhood in Cupertino and Lafayette, Calif., where she attended elementary and secondary school. She completed one year at Diablo Valley College, then attended California State Polytechnic University, where she met her future husband, Patrick, while earning a bachelor of arts degree in home economics. She went on to do graduate work at San Jose State University.
Prior to her marriage to Patrick Tormey on Oct. 2, 1971, Elaine worked with disabled children and with Patrick in the One-to-One Tutorial project at the university. She also taught English as a second language in Ecuador.
In 1973, Elaine and her husband moved to Idaho where they built a home in the mountains and started their family, raising their two children, daughter Mary and son David. Magnanimous of heart, Elaine also opened their home to foster and provide respite care to children with and without disabilities, then went on to follow her true passion, working in the health care field until she retired in February 2017. Yet, even retired, Elaine was always there when there was need, always sharing her skill, generosity, and kindness. A master seamstress, avid quilter, and expert knitter, Elaine was a gifted and award-winning fiber artist with a unique sense of color who won numerous prizes for her afghans and sweaters.
Elaine passed on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at her home in Sandpoint, Idaho, and is survived by her husband; her brother, Richard; her daughter, Mary; and her three adoring cats, Meisha, Pine, and George. Her gentle passion and quiet joy of living will be sorely missed by friends and family alike.
Services will be held at The Gardenia Center, 400 Church St. (at the corner of Fourth and Church), Sandpoint, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. A potluck will follow. (Please label dishes containing animal products.)
Lakeview Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Please visit Elaine’s online memorial at lakeviewfuneral.com and sign her guest book.