Elise R. Erlandson, homemaker, dies

She had worked as a secretary in Hopkins' drama department

  • Elise Erlandson
Elise Erlandson
February 04, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Elise R. Erlandson, a homemaker and former secretary, died Tuesday from complications of dementia at Holly Hill Manor, a Towson nursing and rehabilitation facility. She was 82.

Elise R. DiPaula, the daughter of a Mercantile-Safe Deposit Co. lawyer and an artist and antiques dealer, was born in Baltimore and raised on Greenspring Avenue.

After graduating in 1949 from Seton High School, she attended the Bard Avon School, where she "excelled in dramatics," said her husband of 57 years, Robert A. Erlandson, a retired Baltimore Sun reporter and foreign correspondent.

Mrs. Erlandson was working as secretary of the drama department at the Johns Hopkins University when she met and fell in love with her future husband, who was an undergraduate.

Mr. Erlandson was serving as a naval officer aboard the destroyer USS Charles R. Ware when the couple married in 1953.

After being discharged from the Navy in 1955, Mr. Erlandson joined the staff of The Baltimore Sun. The couple lived in Northwest Baltimore and later Towson.

"When I was in Vietnam during the war, The Sun sent Elise for a year and she was able to see the war up close and travel to Thailand and Japan," her husband said.

Mrs. Erlandson moved to Rio de Janeiro after her husband was named the newspaper's Latin American bureau chief and lived in London from 1979 to 1983, when he was chief of the newspaper's bureau there.

The longtime Towson resident was an avid reader.

"Her real hobby was her family," her husband said. "She was also a fine Italian cook and enjoyed entertaining."

She was a communicant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Baynesville.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Erlandson is survived by two daughters, Lisalee Erlandson Turpin of Towson and Kathy Lee Liston Strain of Brookneal, Va.; and a grandson.


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