Obituary of Elaine Maria Upton

Elaine Upton

Our beloved Elaine Maria Upton died peacefully at her home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on Thursday July 20, 2023 with Woodsong by her side and devoted friends and family holding her tenderly in love and prayers. Her last breath was a gentle sigh.

What a blessed journey! Elaine Maria lived fully in her 77 years on this Earth. She was born on the Winter Solstice -December 22, 1945- in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Beloved daughter of Amy Louise (McGaughey) Upton and Alvin Kenneth Upton she later became a devoted big sister to Alvin K. Upton, Jr., Gregory Upton and Sharon (Upton) Calvin. She was deeply connected with many sister/brother-cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and the Spirit of the Ancestors. Her family, her community in Sweetwater, Tennessee, was her creative inspiration, her joy and sometimes sorrow. Her poetry, stories, and novels were written with an ever present awareness of and deep love for that community.

Elaine Maria was also a gift to the larger world. She lived, worked, taught and studied in many places in North America, Great Britain, Germany and South Africa. She was an artist. Poetry defined her life, her vision, and her work. She was a gifted writer, editor, translator, student of Nature, and lover of learning and conscious living. She earned her Ph.D., taught in universities and art schools, lead workshops, cared for those in need of care, delighted in sharing her work with others and was a deep listener and encouraging presence to her students, friends and colleagues. She was a seriously devoted student of the teachings of several spiritual traditions and was constantly striving to live up to the Highest Light of those Teachings.

Beloved sister, partner, second mother and devoted friend to many around the world. She will be missed. And she will be remembered. Her welcoming smile, playful intellect and deep presence always encouraged us. That Presence now Everywhere- she remains in our hearts, always.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

                      ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye

A private funeral service will be held on Sunday, July 23, 2023, in Great Barrington. Condolences can be offered and memories shared through Birches-Roy Funeral Home, Great Barrington, MA

5 Responses to Obituary of Elaine Maria Upton

  1. My dear Elaine, you, who in your quiet way, gave so many gifts to the world through your poems and stories and of course, in personal relationships. I will keep her in high esteem and thank her for the times we could spend together.
    i now think of the people who were close to her especially her family. She will meet now those who already had gone before her
    And will send a message to those of the Anthroposophical Society in Ann Arbor, MI., especially from the the Magazine Being Human, which printed several of her poems over the years. .

  2. Elaine seemed very spiritual to me with so much talent and yet she was so humble. She seemed to find so much joy in life. She once asked me to show her how to do an Irish jig. Dancing is not my forte, but I love the music and find it hard to be still when I hear it – so I did my best. After that every time we talked she would mention how much she enjoyed my Irish jig.

    She and Woodsong moved to many different places while I always stayed in Oklahoma. But I always felt connected to their spirits wherever they were. Elaine has now found her peace on the next step of her path. I hope Woodsong has peace on her path as she goes forward.

  3. To Alvin, Sharon and Carol, I feel your pain. Elaine was like a sister to me. We did not see each other often but the friendship we forged in Middle School remained strong. We lost contact for about 25 years but when we met again it was just like yesterday. She will always be in my heart. I trust God to give you the comfort and strength to get through this difficult time.

  4. Alvin, Sharon and Carol, I feel your pain. Elaine was like a sister to me. We became friends in Middle School even though we attended different schools. We did not see each other often but when we did it was just like yesterday. My heart aches to know I will not hear her voice nor see her smile again on this side of eternity, but she will always be close to me. May the God that she served give you peace and comfort.

    • Thank you Alberta, even when she was not quite sure of anything, she remembered you and would ask me about you!

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