Elender Wright Gist, 78, a longtime resident of Forest Park and previously of Chicago, died on June 26, 2019. She received her formal education in the Chicago Public School system, attending Fenger High School and the Chicago Teacher’s College from 1960 to 1962, majoring in mathematics. Elender worked at Western Electric Company for six years. She found her calling when she joined the Cook County Sheriff Department in 1978. She took her duties very seriously, enjoyed the work and her co-workers, especially her partner of seven years, Jesse James, and retired in 2002 as a correctional officer with the CCDOC Transportation Unit. After retirement, she stayed active and was a regular member of the CCDOC Sheriff’s retirees group, meeting monthly for breakfast and more.
As the president of the Lathrop Condominium Association, she pushed to have the parking lot repaved. She enjoyed league bowling in her earlier years and was an avid traveler, continuing to do so with senior groups of friends and family. A faithful member of Chicago’s Ebenezer Lutheran Church for many years, she later joined Forest Park’s St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church. There, she was a very involved member, serving on the finance committee, helping with the food pantry, and faithfully attending church services and Bible studies.
A no-nonsense lady with a heart of gold, her hard work, loyalty, strong ethics, and servanthood, combined with her unchanging faith, made an indelible mark that won’t be forgotten.
Elender Gist was the mother Everett (Temple) Gist; sister of Avis Wright; grandmother of Delvon Jacobs, Eric Gist and Cameron Gist; sister-friend to Eva Henry, Mildred Barns and Verne Mines; godmother of Phileshia Mooney, Thyesha (Bill) McCline and Chelsea (Taylor) Evans; special-aunt to Gabriel Jenkins and Therese (Dallis) Anderson; and a family relation and friend to many.
Services were held on July 6 at St. John Lutheran Church. Arrangements were handled by Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home.