SOUTH PORTLAND – It is with heavy hearts we announce that our mom, Elva Cathleen Stratton, fell asleep in death on Dec. 15, 2021 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House.
Elva was born on August 30, 1943 in Concord, N.H. to James and Elva Lottie Ambrose II. She was the oldest of five children and forever proud twin to sister, Cathy Murphy. She grew up in the Smithfield/Belgrade area and spent a brief time in Oklahoma with her loving aunt and uncle, Joe and Joanette Kemp.
After marriage, she moved to South Portland where she raised her family. Elva will forever be remembered for her outstanding faithfulness, love, generosity, and of course, her larger-than-life personality. So many have been touched by her compassion in action. Whether you were a recipient of her relentless generosity, one of the many ‘friends of a friend’ in need that stayed at her home, someone fortunate enough to join her on one of her many coupon/yard sale adventures looking for a “wicked good deal”, or one of the many she introduced Bible truths to, each person who met and spent time with her has their own wonderful stories; stories that will either leave you in tears or rolling on the floor laughing. It has so truthfully been said, “once you meet Elva, you will NEVER forget her.”
However, the greatest recipients of her love and generosity were her five children. As a single mom, she tirelessly gave her all to her children, supporting the family by running a successful residential and commercial cleaning business. She was always there for us with her loving support, along with her wise candor, in both the good, and not so good times.
Above all else, Elva wanted to be remembered for her love for her Creator, Jehovah. During her youth, Elva would listen in from the farmhouse stairs with great curiosity as her parents learned simple but wonderful truths found in God’s word the Bible. Even though her parents would not act on these truths for many years, Elva never forgot them and was so determined to learn them, she taught herself how to read so she could read the Bible. After the birth of her first two children, she began studying the bible and was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Jan. 16, 1970. For over 51 years, despite many challenges and trials, she remained faithful to Jehovah; her hope of living in the better new world to come never wavered. We are so thankful to her for her example and for all she has taught us!
Elva is survived by one brother, Jonathan (Kim) Ambrose of Standish; and her five children, each of which has taken their comical turn at being her “favorite”; Billie Jo (Skip) Tilton of Dummer, N.H., Travis (Lisa) Stratton of Valdosta, Ga., Scott Stratton of Freedom, Rudy (Kathy) Stratton of South Portland, and Jimmy (Sara) Stratton of Norridgewock; along with eight grandchildren, Danyelle Stratton, Sophia Stratton, Jamin Tilton, Devon Stratton, Solomon Stratton, Heidi Elva Tilton, Levi Stratton, and Joshua Stratton; and one great-grandchild, Jovita Stratton.
In her later years, she looked forward to spending time with each of her grandchildren and playfully teasing them as only Elva could.
She is also survived by former husband Wallace Stratton; her close friend, Eugene Emery and an innumerable group of family and friends.
She was predeceased by her parents James and Lottie Ambrose; sisters Cathy Murphy and Bonnie Holmes, and her brother, “her everything,” Jim Ambrose.
We are forever thankful Mom and Grammy for all you have done for us! We so look forward to seeing the fulfillment of your favorite scripture, John 5:28,29. We will see you soon, Mom, and await hearing your precious “Imagine” once again!
Please join us on Zoom on Jan. 2, 2022 at 2 p.m. as we remember our Mom, grandmother, family member, friend and faithful sister. For the link and to leave your memories, please visit the remembrance page at https://www.hobbsfuneralhome.com/obituary/elva-stratton.