Editorial: Honoring Elnora Haynes

Editorial By Monsignor William J. Linder
Elnora Haynes was truly one of a kind. It is with deep sadness that the New Community family mourns her loss. Her influence was felt far and wide.
I first met Elnora many years ago at New Community. She was a faithful member of the New Community Senior Advisory Board and her gift of leadership shined. She and the other leaders from NCC’s senior buildings brought their concerns to each month’s meeting, representing their respective senior buildings in Newark, Orange and Jersey City.
For 19 years, Elnora humbly volunteered as a social services aide at her building, New Community Associates, where she touched every single person who walked through the door. She was such a positive influence. She worked tirelessly as a voice for the most vulnerable members of our society—seniors and disabled residents—and ensured that their needs were met, whether it was material, emotional or spiritual. As a person of deep faith, Elnora received satisfaction from witnessing others being successful. It was in giving that she experienced the most joy.
In local politics, Elnora served as a district leader in a way that exemplified the very best of civic engagement and community activism. Very rarely do you have a district leader like Elnora, whose sole motivation in holding the post was to serve others and not to stroke her own ego. In a time where we see so much selfishness, Elnora was a refreshing presence.
Elnora represented what we are trying to be here at New Community. She not only challenged others, she also inspired them.
It was a privilege to have Elnora briefly stay at New Community Extended Care Facility. She took care of others and it was our turn to take care of her.
Whatever age limited, it didn’t limit Elnora’s spirit even at age 82. She passed away just two weeks before her 83rd birthday.
After the funeral service on March 8, I met with Elnora’s loved ones gathered at St. Joseph Plaza for the repast. As they embraced each other and offered words of comfort to everyone who came to honor Elnora’s legacy, you could plainly see her positive influence radiating from her family, right down to her great grandchildren. A slideshow created by her family showed photo after photo of Elnora with her grandchildren, who were obviously very close to her. She transcended age with ease.
Elnora Haynes truly represented the best of New Community. May we honor her life and legacy by “loving thy neighbor” in the way that she taught us, which was as an outpouring of her love and devotion to the Lord.

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