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Joseph G. Duffy

255 Ninth Street, Brooklyn, NY

OBITUARY

Elva Cherilin Stephens

April 15, 1975September 2, 2019

Elva Cherilin Stephens was born on April 15, 1975 and passed away on September 2, 2019.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, September 14, 2019

Memories

Elva Cherilin Stephens

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Deborah Culmer

September 15, 2019

Summer is Gone
for Cher

As my teeth tear the flesh
of the last stone fruit of summer,
I think how unfair it is, this sweetness.

I wonder about her last cup of coffee
her last mundane thought
her last joke, her last laugh.
I wonder how she felt about summer passing and
autumn coming on.

As this, her last summer, has passed
and the chill takes hold
I wonder at how the world tips and turns
and marvel that we continue to stay upright
through this strange new season;

this new season when she will not thrown on a jaunty jacket
grab her gloves and bag and head out into the crisp
Brooklyn day.

This new season when we will not
wake up beside her
walk the night streets with her
pluck a cat hair from her coat
share a plate of tacos.

This new season when I realize
I will never know her any better
but through others' memories --
a warped yet trustworthy glass.

Upright we will go from here,
each wending our way to our own last summer,
our own last fruit.

Elva, Cherilin, Cher, La Mamcita.
Your life was so sweet.
Thanks for gracing us
with a taste.

--In memory of Elva Cherilin Stephens
By her friend Deborah Culmer

Richard Torres

September 14, 2019

For Elva.

Katy Wilson

September 13, 2019

Heartbroken over the loss of you, my fierce, funny, forceful, fantastic friend.

The Babs to my Betty, the booty to my foo.

What are we going to do without you, my crazy cat lady? The world will never be the same.

Trying to figure out what to do to honor you-- and all that I can come up with is to donate to a cat shelter, because you were always trying to save all the kitties, even though they made your eyes red and your nose so stuffy. That, and eat tacos, while watching really bad reality t.v. and mocking everyone on screen.

I love you forever and always, my little conejo.

Luis Rios

September 12, 2019

Cher was more than a sister-in-law. She was a friend and trusted partner. And a loving aunt to Parker. We will miss her laughter and delightful, uncensored, expletive-filled stories without filter (especially when it made us uptight parents cringe in front of the kid). She was true to herself. LA, Santa Cruz, NYC, Nashville, Chapel Hill, so many road trips and memories. Farewell.

Ilya Dolin

September 12, 2019

It takes a special kind of person to be able to not only see the value in what some would think is silly banter on a local news site, but to go above and beyond and wrangle all those 'cats' into a different platform when that local news site so many of us to chose to spend time on was shut down.
Cherilin was that person. Online, we would bicker, fight and be snarky to each other, but in all of us, Cherilin saw something more, and that is what she exuded herself: warmth and humor (and an unflinching love of cats and tacos). The snarkiness of course stayed, but once we got to know each other, the petty bickering stopped being an issue. All thanks to Cherilin.
She created a space for a bunch of strangers to really get to know each other in real life, and be able to share with each other the trials, tribulations, daily complaints, and other silliness. She was the one that put faces to anonymous online personas and made everyone feel at ease about actually meeting in person. That is no easy task, and is not a skill that is easily learned. Cherilin just had 'it' and made it look easy.

Cherilin really was a kind, funny and just generally great person to be around and a person that I am forever grateful for because had it not been for Cherilin, I (and many others) would not have the many wonderful friendships we have today.
She is missed dearly.

Alex Yuen

September 12, 2019

Cherilin was able to take a group of strangers who's only commonality was propensity to argue and managed to shape it into a welcoming community. Her warmth and enthusiasm was contagious and will certainly be missed.

Rose Medina

September 12, 2019

It was an honor to be friends with Elva.  We met in college and went on to have many adventurous moments together.
Poetry readings,the beach--great times dreaming about what we were going to be in life.   Two young girls trying to find
our way through life.  Elva was a strong, resilient person and I admired her for that.  She could light up a room with her
brilliant smile and infectious laugh.
 My deepest condolences to her family and Mark.  

Julie Jarrait

September 12, 2019

As Heather and Karen mentioned, I only met Cherilin in person once but I was immediately drawn to her spirit. She was kind, funny, quirky and loved cats...so what's not to love. Through our DCist communication channel we talked with her almost every day. Whether it was sharing funny jokes, talking about how the caftan needs to make a comeback, or venting on all our various issues she was always there to listen and to offer some incredibly sage advice. This world has lost a beautiful soul and my heart is a less full because of it. Much love to Mark, her family and friends. I hope it provides even the tiniest bit of solace to know how much she impacted so many of us.

@ms_jlynn

p.s. this is the only photo we could find from her trip to DC. She was trying desperately to hide.

Zareen Dadachanji

September 11, 2019

The ability to create and unite a community is a profoundly underrated gift, and Cherilin had that gift in spades. No one else could have accomplished bringing so many disparate voices together, but her kindness, generosity, loyalty, and patience made it work. The group didn’t always agree with each other on everything, but we DID agree on our mutual fondness and affection her. It couldn’t have been easy keeping us monkeys in line on those occasions when debates got heated or tempers started to flare, but she always had a way of diffusing the tension with her warmth and gentle humor. It was impossible not to NOT to love this sweet, quirky soul and she will be missed. Cherilin, the world us a sadder place without you in it. Thank you for always hearing out my rants and raves and for all you did in heading up this wacky motley crew. I hope Lucy and all the other kitties are showing you where the tacos are ❤️

Will Travis

September 11, 2019

Although I'm merely some random person on the internet and never had the opportunity to meet Cherilin in person, she warmly welcomed me to this community of souls while I stayed in tune and lived vicariously through these friends back home in NY and along the east coast.

Cherilin touched many wonderful people we see here and was an integral part in maintaining these connections through thick and thin, turning online friendships into offline events.

For everyone that knew Cherilin as family, as a friend, as an acquaintance, or any other path in life, you shared stories, jokes, advice, defeats, and triumphs and we are all lucky to have experienced this with her. I can only offer my complete sympathies.