Elise Evans Gorun
March 17, 1943 – October 20, 2020
Elise Evans Gorun passed Tuesday, October 20, 2020, after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her family at home in Loveland, CO where she and her husband Alexander Gorun relocated from Chicago in July to be near their granddaughter.
Elise and Alex, together 51 years, travelled extensively throughout the US, Europe, Mexico, Asia and the Caribbean. Elise took immense pride in maintaining her beautiful homes in Chicago and Michigan which were filled with art and furnishings gathered from around the world, but most importantly, filled with family and friends.
Together Elise and Alex built a beautiful life which they generously shared with their “nearest and dearest.” Central to her life was her family with whom she was constantly surrounded. She was a gracious host and a renown gourmet cook. Elise maintained many friendships with old and new friends, including neighbors and co-workers. Elise took great interest in people and nourished these relationships. She actively participated in Chicago’s cultural life, attending art exhibits, lectures, jazz concerts, opera and theater.
Elise was born March 17, 1943 in Charleston, WVA where her father was briefly stationed during World War II. After the war, her father Samuel J. Evans, Jr and mother Gloria Lewis Evans returned home to Chicago where her sister Eve was born in 1947.
Elise earned a MA degree from the University of Illinois and embarked on a long teaching career with City Colleges of Chicago. With her mother and sister, she was co-owner of Hyde Park’s Sewing Circle, a retail fabric shop. A highlight of her working life was her tenure with Choose Chicago (an entity of the City of Chicago devoted to tourism), where she was able to share her love and knowledge of the city with visitors from around the world.
She married her high school sweetheart Roger Spencer and they had a daughter, Christine. Some years later she married Alex and together they had a daughter, Amy. Elise, Alex, Christine and Amy made their home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood for many years. In the early 1970s they started spending summers in Union Pier, MI and in 1985 they built a home in New Buffalo, MI to which they added a large expansion in 1998. The family enjoyed this home until selling it in 2016.
In addition to her husband Alex and daughters Christine Evans Spencer (Robert Blankshain) and Amy Eve Avram Campbell, she is survived by granddaughter Eva Elise Avram Campbell, sister Eve Evans Earles; uncle John Overton Lewis (Edna); first cousins John O. Lewis II (Yvonne), Gregg Lewis, Cheryl Lewis (Norine Kotts), Janine Lewis; nephew Robert Evans Earles (Dana), niece Andrea Elise Earles (Sidy Sankhare); aunt-in-law Eliana Duncan and cousins-in-law Sherban Duncan (Olivia), Florica Duncan (George), Virgil Duncan, Dan Duncan, Adrian Spitzer, Ovid Priffer and Serge Priffer.
Elise leaves many more relatives and dear friends including Nettie Anthony Harris and Pat McCoo Langhart.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Elise Evans Gorun
November 21, 2020
Elisa was so beautiful, fun to be with and a loyal friend to so many. I cherish the memory of all the fun times I had in Hyde Park with you and Elise and Lehla and Kambiz
I picture Elisa and Lehla in heaven doing a ladies lunch every Friday.
I am so sad for you, Amy and Christine.
Fondly, Lisa Lanz (aka Richardson)
November 3, 2020
My heart is heavy with your passing. Your friendship all these years has meant a lot. Our families were close and I will miss you dear friend with much love. RIP
Nettie Anthony Harris
November 2, 2020
This is something I have been loathe to write. It makes the loss of my darling friend more concrete than my heart can yet accept.
Impossible to recount a lifetime of memories but important to remember that we shared all the highs and lows as only the best of friends do. Elise (and Alex) were family, no less than my blood family. Forever woven into the tapestry of my heart and soul.
Beautiful, lively, soulful fun friend/sister I will love you forever and forget your love NEVER.
November 1, 2020
Elise and I were hired at M X College (CCC) within weeks of each other. Being young mothers and having no seniority, we commiserated over our horrible schedules, finding day care, and being sent to questionable off campus sites to teach. We instantly bonded! Our friendship evolved and grew deeper even when we were transferred to different campuses. Over the years we enjoyed lunches, dinners, parties, endless conversations, and travels (to our lake houses and even to Mexico).
Elise was always there for me. She was the epitome of style and grace. Yet, she was warm, compassionate, caring, and very funny… everything one would wish for in a friend. And now, she’s gone. It still seems impossible that I cannot text, email, or call her. She was and always will be the truest of friends.
My deepest sympathy and love to Alex, Christine, Amy, and Eve.
October 26, 2020
Elise was a incredible woman, who’s heart was filled with nothing but love and compassion. Elise and Alex accepted me, my faults, and really made me feel like a part of the family. I am forever grateful and humbled by Elise’s kindness and just plain enthusiasm for life. Rarely do we appreciate people until they are no longer with us. Elise, whatever happens after our lives conclude, I hope you have found peace. You will truly be missed everyday, and we will honor your memory forever. Rest In Peace.
Dr Valerie Perkins
October 26, 2020
I can’t believe that my friend of over 40 years is gone. We had some fun times both at Malcolm X College and out. Elise wore a permanent smile. When I first met her in 1978, I mistook her for her sister Eve, whom I knew from U of I. She smiled and said ,”Eve is my sister, I’m Elise.” That was the beginning, and oh my dear friend, there will never be an end. I love and miss you already. Our friendship will last through eternity. See you later!!
Weichin (Wei) Cheng
October 26, 2020
Elise and I worked together for a short time but remained friends for a lifetime. She treated me like her daughter and called herself my "Chicago mom". Even though we had big age differences, I didn't even think of the word "elder" when I was around her. She was always fun, cool, kind, creative and so spontaneous.
We went to coffee together, hung out with Alex and their other friends, celebrated this and that, and most importantly, we laughed about so many things together. She shared good wine with me and fed me her food.
She heard about all my relationships and gave me blessings. Elise taught me so many things, not with words, but by showing how she viewed this world and treated people.
We were never just colleagues or friends, but more like real mother and daughter. Love her and memorize her with all my heart.
October 25, 2020
On behalf of Martha H. Bryant and myself we offer our most heartfelt condolence to Alex, Amy, Eva, Christine and sister Eve. We will always remember Elise’s warm and buoyant personality and steadfastness in her loyalty to family and friends. Elise was much loved and will be dearly missed.
Christopher (Miguel del Norte ) Coyne
October 25, 2020
Dear Alex and Family,
Please accept my sincere and deepest condolence for your loss.
Although I only knew she and you a short time in San Miguel, it was immediately clear to me what wonderful loving people you are and your love and adoration for each other would survive forever.
You have suffered a great loss and your memories and love of Elise will hopefully give you strength now.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
October 24, 2020
I was so fortunate to have worked with Elise at Choose Chicago. She was so funny, kind, and knowledgeable. It was easy to see her as such a good role model and friend to me, she was a beacon of hope in difficult times. She loved Chicago, her family, and friends with all her heart. My deepest condolences to Alex and Elise's family. May she rest in heaven at peace.
October 24, 2020
My heart goes out to Alex, Eve, Christine, Amy, Eva and the rest of Elise’s family and countless friends. Elise was an enchanting beacon of light, always full of love, laughter and grace.. Her passing has been a painful jolt to all of us who loved and adored her. I’m truly grateful for the plethora of memories which I’ll treasure until we meet again.
October 24, 2020
I was shocked and saddened to find out that you passed Momma Elise. I have known you since Christine and I became friends when we 16! I can remember spending many days in Hyde Park at your home. I remember some fun times and your words of wisdom. You and Alex always welcomed me into your home. From the lower level of the Hedgerow to New Buffalo, we shared some great parties or family gatherings.
Thank you for welcoming me into your family. I will continue to look out for your #1 girl.
To Alex, Christine and Amy,
I send prayers for God to keep you strong.
October 23, 2020
Such a wise, warm, witty, and generous friend. We ranted and rolled our eyes, laughed and shared our stories over the years. Her family was her anchor; I understood that even without knowing any of them. The Truman College Communications Dept. and many other City College folks are devastated by this loss. Our hearts go out to Amy and Alex and the others she loved. May her memory be for a blessing.
October 22, 2020
Memories of Elise... beautiful and warm...I knew I would like her the day I met her some forty years ago. Elise and Alex...that wonderful couple who seemed to thrive on the many wonderful experiences and travels they shared. Such a truly lovely and vibrant woman. All my love to the whole family. I still can’t believe she’s gone.