Mary Young Elfer
Mary Young Elfer (66), Louisiana’s luckiest unlucky woman, finally ran out of luck Aug 8, 2020. She luckily did not catch Covid-19 but lost her multiyear war against antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, an autoimmune disease. She beat back and recovered from strokes; heart attacks; blood clots; an ileostomy; infections; and her husband burning down their house with an unattended citronella candle. She did see the Saints win the Superbowl, her children graduate, and her new house on the water.
She handed down her love of travel to Stephen Elfer, an airline captain with high seniority in the surviving United Express regional. She flew as co-pilot in his personal plane and first class with him on the airlines. She passed on her love for medicine to Dr. Katherine Elfer, a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Mary’s favorite nursing job was in Charity Hospital’s Trauma Operating Room, and she would end her days telling her daughter and son about her work even though her husband got squeamish. Her surviving husband of 40 years, Dr. Norman Elfer, despite his misgivings, took her “advice” on their spending a year in Germany with him as a guest scientist. Much to his initial reluctance, she taught him, as well as many other family members and friends, that cruises and plane flights could be an enjoyable experience. She only made it to 4 continents. She left Antarctic adventures to her lifelong friend Sandy Parker. Mary’s planned trips to Australia and Asia were cut short by clotting, Australian bush fires, and the Covid-19 pandemic. She spread a bit of her luck and love to everyone in 2020, because the world needs it.
She is also survived by her caring brother, Father Otis Wingo Young, Jr., her nephew, Jason Watson, his wife, Thresa Watson, other loved family members, many close friends, and the dedicated Ochsner physicians/nurses who saw her through this long journey. She was preceded in death by her mother Rita Young, her father Otis Wingo Young, Sr., and her sister Dorothy Rita Watson. A family-only Church Service will be held, with final burial in her hometown of Columbia, MS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local animal shelter, medical research, frontline healthcare workers, or buy yourself a plane ticket to someplace fun.