Elfreda Onabel Holley Bourne, 93, of Gilbert, AZ, peacefully rejoined her brothers and sisters who went before her.
Elfreda Holley was born in Lucky Lake, Sask, and moved to Quesnel, BC. with her parents Robert and Catherine Holley. She was swept off her feet by her ‘sweetheart’ James (“Jimmy”) Bourne, a dashing and aristocratic gentleman 20 years her senior. She and her husband Jimmy moved with their first born, Jo-Anne, to California where her next daughter, Nanette Holley, was born. It was in California that Elfreda began to get a glimpse of the larger world of opportunities that lay at her feet.
Her first stop was to become a Registered Nurse. Elfreda began her professional nursing career doing private duty nursing and then found her way into geriatric nursing where her compassion, healing touch, and talents became obvious. She moved from floor nursing into hospital administration, where she spent most of her career. In 1989, she fulfilled a lifelong dream by going by to school to earn her BSN from Saint Joseph’s College in Maine.
In 1963, Elfreda’s third daughter, Catherine Ellen was born. At about the same time, Elfreda longed to return to what was her first love – nursing. She nursed infants in the neonatal ward and then returned to where her nursing career started – geriatric and palliative care nursing.
Jimmy, Elfreda’s sweetheart, passed away in 1983 after 40 years of marriage.
In the late 80’s, Elfreda was asked to dance by Jack Jeppesen, a handsome economics professor with a fancy pair of dancing shoes. Elfreda had found her very own dancing star. Elfreda and Jack danced all over the world – every night dressed to the nines. They retired, if that’s what you call it, to Arizona. Their days were filled with, of course, dancing, church leadership, tennis, golf, and philanthropic activities. Elfreda was active in the East Valley Assistance League, and Soroptimist International. Always a patron of the arts, she was an “angel” who provided financial and enthusiastic support for the artistic needs of local musicians and painters. She and Jack made a wonderful and full life for the 10 years they shared in Arizona.
Elfreda is survived by her three daughters, Jo Freeman, Nanette Bourne, and Catherine Bourne, their husbands, Roger Freeman, John Delfs, and Matthew Weidner. She is also adored by her two grandchildren, Justin Bourne Stuart and Jordan Bourne Weidner. Elfreda has many nieces and nephews, some referring to her as Auntie Mum, who treasured her sense of humor, her compassion, and her interest in their well-being.
To the friends and family she encountered in her 93 years, Elfreda will be a hard act to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Hospice of the Valley (www.hov.org). Services will be private.
And, in memory of the wonderfully full life Elfreda lived, take out your dancing shoes and…
“dance, dance, wherever you may be,
I am the lord of the dance, said he
I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and
I’ll lead you all to the dance said he”