Elaine Fleissner, 63, a native of Chattanooga and long-time resident of Columbia, Tn., died peacefully on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at Alexian Brothers nursing facility on Signal Mountain after a long illness.
Elaine attended Girls Preparatory School and Sewanee: The University of the South, where she was a proud member of the first class of university women graduated from that institution, as well as a Wilkins Scholar and a National Merit Scholar. She worked for law firms in Washington, DC, and New Orleans, receiving an MBA from Tulane University, before moving to middle Tennessee. In Columbia and Nashville, Elaine was employed as an investment counselor and later as a loan originator for GMAC Mortgage, working in the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, and for Magna Bank assisting homebuyers in Columbia, Franklin and Brentwood.
Elaine served in leadership roles in many business, charitable, and civic organizations in middle Tennessee, with a special interest in health care, creative arts, and advancement of women in the workplace. She was a leader in numerous successful political campaigns, including those of U.S. Senators Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, and Fred Thompson.
Elaine had a kind heart for animals and shared her life over the years with many cats, some of whom she lured into domesticity from a life in the wild. She was a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Columbia, and she managed and performed in several bluegrass bands in earlier years. In the face of long-term health challenges, Elaine was an indomitable spirit and an example of courage and perseverance to all who knew her.
She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Ward Fleissner and Paula Berard of Chattanooga; sister-in-law, Cathy (Phil) Fleissner of Chattanooga; nieces, Carol Fleissner of Chattanooga and Lisa Fleissner Thom of Bangkok, Thailand; nephew, Anton Fleissner of Jerusalem, Israel; uncle and aunt, Ward and Betty Powell of Pensacola, FL; and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Hazel Fleissner, and her brother, Phil Fleissner, of Chattanooga.
A memorial service is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 311 W. 7th St., Columbia, Tn., preceded at 5:30 p.m. by visitation.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to Sewanee: The University of the South or to a local animal welfare agency of your choice.
Please visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home 7454 E. Brainerd Rd.