This blog post was written by Deirdre Legge, former Greater Boston Committee Chair, in memory of Elaine Zorn. Elaine has been involved with the Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks and Committee for several years, alongside her husband Stu, their children, and grandchildren in honor of her grandson, Zack. Her impact on our community has been unparalleled and she will be missed.
There is a poem written by Linda Ellis called “The Dash”. It speaks to the time between the birth and death dates engraved on a tombstone. That time reflects the affirmation of our life and more importantly the legacy we have passed on.
What will be your legacy? What attributes will define you after you pass?
Love, affection and devotion to your family? Unwavering commitment to making the world a better place? Having a strong faith and deeply held values? Tirelessly giving back?
All of these define Elaine Zorn. To me, this is her legacy.
Our beloved Greater Boston Committee member, Elaine Zorn, passed away suddenly on April 2nd….on World Autism Awareness Day. Fitting in a way as she was a beacon for this cause. But it is absolutely shocking and has not even begun to sink in yet. As I stare at my computer, I cannot believe I am to write about Elaine in the past tense.
She was a true one of kind.
The love Elaine possessed for her beloved husband Stu, her beautiful children and grandchildren was palpable and ever evident as her main priority in her life. And yet Elaine carved out significant time to make a lasting difference on our Committee.
Elaine’s meaningful volunteerism and dedication to Autism Speaks was entirely to honor her precious grandson, Zach. It was deeply personal. She wanted nothing more than to make this world a better place for her loving family and an easier road for Zack. “It’s all for Zack” she would say at committee meetings as we sat around the conference table munching on the delectable homemade chocolate treats she would bring to every meeting.
Elaine was warm, smart, had a heart of gold, was open and honest…she spoke her mind and you always knew exactly where you stood. I absolutely adored that about Elaine…She was always so refreshing to be around!
She single handedly built our very successful Resource Fair and was extremely thorough, organized and efficient at getting things done. She was on a mission. Elaine was an amazing community outreach ambassador…all for Zack.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others” - Pericles
She wanted no fanfare. The last thing Elaine would want is any type of recognition for her efforts. Sorry, Elaine. There are some things that just need to be said, and I could go on and on about you and the positive influence you have had on our special community. And more personally, the friendship and every kindness you and Stu extended to me is something I truly hold dear.
In her life Elaine spent her “dash” by making an incredible impact on all her knew and loved her, and for me, it was quite profound. Elaine’s lasting legacy is forever woven into my heart.
The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.