Mary Elnora Tucker Gostas, 87, died peacefully at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Aug. 29, 2016, following a two-year struggle with lymphoma.
Born in Galesburg, Illinois, in December 1928, Elnora graduated from Western Illinois University in 1951 with a B.A. in Education and a minor in Spanish. In 1961 she earned a Master's in Library Science from the University of Denver.
While attending library school, Elnora met George Gostas and they married on Sept. 2, 1960. In 1965 the couple moved with their young son to Le Mars, where Elnora cared for her family and participated in civic life as a member of both the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women (where she served as local president for two years). Her husband George worked as the cataloging librarian at Westmar College.
Pursuing job opportunities, the family left Le Mars in 1974. Elnora and George divorced in 1978, and she worked as a librarian at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, until 1990. She retired in 1991 to Santa Fe and met John Crumm.
She served many years as an assistant and archivist for a local artist and continued her civic engagement by volunteering for the Democratic National Convention.
Elnora travelled widely throughout the United States, as well as in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey, always following her interests in politics, history, and education.
She pursued her love of horticulture and nature through gardening and watercolor painting.
She practiced yoga, collected stamps, enjoyed blues, jazz, and classical music, and tracked family history. She was an accomplished cook, seamstress, and organizer.
She is survived by her son, Thomas of Tucson, Arizona; her partner John Crumm, and extended family.
She is preceded in death by her ex-husband George, who died Aug. 3, 2014.
A gathering of family and friends will celebrate her life at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 22, at Spring Lake Park, Macomb, Illinois, followed by inurnment at the Good Hope Cemetery.