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Obituary for Elise D. McIntosh
Elise D. McIntosh (born Jewel Elise O’Neal), age 75, passed away peacefully in her home in St. Charles, Missouri on July 9, 2017 after a seven-year battle with cancer.
She was born in Crystal Springs, MS on January 4, 1942 to William E. “Toad” O’Neal and Libby (Shearer) O’Neal. The family lived in Dentville, MS and later moved to Vicksburg, MS. Elise was one of three siblings who include Richard E. “Buster” O’Neal and Kathy (O’Neal) Whidden.
Elise raised four children while working full-time and yet managed to find time to pursue many talents including sewing, crocheting, knitting, needlepoint, quilting, and cake decorating. She made clothes for her entire family, including Halloween costumes, prom dresses and a beautiful heirloom wedding dress for her youngest daughter. She loved to make gifts for others, and created an entire Barbie Doll wardrobe for her daughters as well as many elegant crocheted bedspreads, blankets, doilies, and baby clothes for friends and family. Elise donated quilts she made to a local St. Louis charity that gave them to sick and grieving children for comfort in the hospital or over the loss of a loved one.
Elise enjoyed sports. As a teenager, she could be found diving off the cliffs along the bayous. A good swimmer, she worked as a lifeguard in the summer. She played tennis, volleyball, basketball, and enjoyed cycling. At age 50, she completed a cycling tour of New Zealand. She continued to play tennis and volleyball into her 60s. Even after cancer took one of her kidneys she still played volleyball. She was also an avid reader and even tried her hand at writing a romance novel.
Elise was active in her Baptist faith throughout her life. She served as church organist, a member of the church choir, and on the women’s welcoming committee. Before she passed, she read scripture to her beloved Aunt Sue, daily. When Elise herself was unable to read any longer, she drew comfort from having scripture read to her.
Elise worked for the federal government until she was eligible to retire in the mid-1990s. Later she worked for several companies, including Deutsche Financial and Sprint Paranet, specializing in Information Security and Disaster Recovery Planning. She earned her Associates degree in Business Administration from St. Louis Community College in May, 2000. In 2002, she moved to Louisville, KY to work full-time for Humana until she moved to St. Louis to be closer to her grandchildren in January 2012. She continued to work remotely on a part-time basis until she retired in 2014.
Elise graduated from Jett High School in Vicksburg in 1959. She played four years of varsity basketball, clerked in the school store, served as librarian. She won the 1959 Jett High School Betty Crocker of Tomorrow Homemaker Award—no surprise as she was an excellent cook. She married Laverne Davenport in December 1958 and had two children, a girl and a boy before they divorced in January 1967. While living in Vicksburg, she worked for a State Farm agent where she met a young Coast Guard serviceman, John McIntosh, who was seeking to buy car insurance. They fell in love and were married August 12, 1967. As a military family, they moved frequently. Shortly after marriage, they moved to Memphis, TN where John adopted Elise’s two older children. From there, the family moved to Governor’s Island, then a Coast Guard base, where their third child, a boy, was born. In Long Beach, CA they added a fourth and final child to the family, a little girl. The family also lived in Woodbridge, VA before settling in St. Louis, MO in July 1980. Elise and John divorced in March 1991, but after 23 years of marriage, they have remained good friends.
Elise is survived by sister, Kathrine (O’Neal) Whidden and her dear Aunt, Billie Sue (Hollingsworth) Shearer. She leaves behind four children: Monette McKinnon, Monty McIntosh, Warren McIntosh, and Christina Jenkins, son-in-law: Brian Jenkins, three grandchildren: Christopher McKinnon, Mason Jenkins, and Clayton Jenkins, and one great grandson: Liam McKinnon.
A Memorial Tribute Web page is set up in her name to make donations to the American Cancer Society at http://bit.ly/elisemcintosh . Donations are greatly appreciated.