School 31
Official Obituary of

Elaine S. Needham

October 30, 1941 ~ March 23, 2024 (age 82) 82 Years Old

Elaine S. Needham Obituary

Elaine S. (Meritt) Needham, 82, of Kokomo, passed away at 2:46 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Wellbrooke of Kokomo. She was born October 30, 1941, in Kokomo, to John Olin Meritt and Julia (Hornbeck) Meritt. On May 27, 1960, she married David K. Needham, and he survives.

Elaine graduated from Kokomo High School in 1959 and earned her bachelor's and master’s degrees from Indiana University Kokomo. She worked for Kokomo Center Schools for over 35 years as a teacher, for mostly first and some second grade, at Darrough Chapel and Maple Crest Schools. She enjoyed cooking and flowers and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Elaine was a very selfless woman and was completely devoted to her family.   She always put the needs of others before her own.  She was also passionate about teaching young students and they often wanted her to stay involved in their lives.  She went to many, many graduation parties, and weddings of former students through the years.  Upon learning of her passing, one of the employees at Coca-Cola told Craig “Mrs. Needham was my favorite teacher.  I don’t remember a lot about my other elementary teachers, but I sure remember her well.  She came to some of my little league games, and she came to my graduation party”. 

Elaine and Dave loved the time they spent in Melbourne, Florida through the years with Mark and his extended family.  For many years while she was still teaching it was an annual trip for spring break with Dave and Kristi and Craig.  After she retired, she and Dave had the opportunity to spend extended periods there during the winter months and got to spend a lot of time with Mark and Tara and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

In addition to her husband, survivors include her children, Kristi (Craig) Severns and Mark Needham (Tara Andrews); grandchildren, David (Summer) Needham and Cameron (Lindsey) Leet; great-granddaughters, Saylor Grace Needham, Sienna Rose Needham, Clayton Leet, and Amelia Leet; and sister, Maureen (Jeff) Taylor.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Pamela (Jim) Burt.

Private family services will take place. Contributions may be made in Elaine’s memory to the American Heart Association. Messages of condolence may be left online at Arrangements have been entrusted to Shirley & Stout Funeral Home, Kokomo.

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