Obituary: Elsie S. Adelson

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Former Idyllwild resident Elsie S. Adelson died Oct. 16, 2010, in Lake Forest, Calif., of natural causes. She was 92.

Born Elsie Scharfstein on Aug. 31, 1918, in New York City, she was the middle daughter of Anna Seidman and Abraham Scharfstein, who together raised three children.

Adelson graduated from New York’s Hunter College in 1940 and Yale University’s nursing school in 1943. Even before receiving her degree and throughout her career, Adelson’s medical knowledge and cool demeanor would be called on in extraordinary circumstances that ranged from attending a dog-bitten niece, collision-injured motorists, switchblade-cut students or a rifle-wounded neighbor.

She married Irving N. Adelson in 1946. They immediately moved west to New Mexico, where their three children were born. The couple operated Las Lomas Pharmacy in Albuquerque until 1957. The family later relocated to Southern California, living in both San Bernardino and Riverside.

Elsie Adelson resumed her career as a school nurse for the Riverside Unified School District, ultimately working on several campuses and retiring in 1978.

In retirement, Adelson split her time between Idyllwild and Hemet. In her mountain-high home, Adelson took up stained-glass making, devoted time to oil painting, volunteered with the visitor’s center and was an associate of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation.

After suffering a fall in 2005, she relocated to Orange County and in mid-2007 began painting again as a watercolorist.

She is survived by her sister Ruth Meyers, of Mohawk, N.Y., children Irene Steiniger, of Sherman Oaks; Mark Adelson of San Bernardino; Andrea Reckard, of Laguna Beach; four grandchildren and a niece and nephew.

A private service is planned in December. A memorial scholarship will be established in her name.

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