We know Elaine for her warm personality, her smile, her quirks and her ability to laugh at herself. She was the oldest daughter of Mitchell and Lang Lee, and while fiercely independent in childhood, she grew into the pillar of support for her three siblings, Tinna, Diane and Thomas. She woke up thinking of others, was often the one who checked in on family members and friends, offering encouragement and keeping everyone connected.
Thousands of Sacramento families probably have no idea of the role Elaine played in improving their lives. She spent her career at Child Action Inc., eventually becoming a senior executive at the private nonprofit that connects working parents with childcare and other support. Throughout the pandemic she kept commuting to the office to ensure strangers continued to get the help they needed.
Even fewer know the backstory to her life's work. When Elaine was a little girl, a thief tricked the kids into opening the front door and stole the family's valuables while their parents were working. Elaine eventually put herself through college, and helped make sure other families weren't plagued by such problems.
Outside of work, she played coed adult-league soccer for years, racking up numerous championships. When she became a mother 15 years ago, she poured that intensity into raising her sons, setting up toddler activity stations around their house. She and Tony stretched the family budget to make sure the boys got opportunities she had missed. It was Elaine's dream to someday watch them thrive in college.
Elaine went to bed on Sunday May 23 ahead of another week of hard work. She suffered a seizure and her heart arrested. After a week in the ICU surrounded by family, she passed away shortly after the sun rose on Saturday, May 29.
Anyone who knows Elaine, was helped by Elaine or was inspired by Elaine is welcome to make a donation to this fundraiser. We offer our sincere thanks for any contribution.