Elise Doreen Pollock Rivers LaForgia was a baby boomer born to military parents, Sgt. William Pollock (US Army), and former Sgt. Dorothy Deeb Pollock (US Marine Corps), at Fort Belvoir, VA, on 08Apr1949. She accompanied her parents to Germany where her younger sister, Chrystin (AKA Marion), was born. She then went back and forth with her family from Massachusetts to California and back again, then on to North Carolina, and finally stopped moving after arriving in Georgia, where she lived the rest of her life. Her sister, Dorothy, joined the family one of the times they were in Massachusetts.
Elise attended DeKalb County schools, graduating from Chamblee High School in 1967. At CHS she learned to play tennis and was on the tennis team for five years. Tennis was a lifelong passion for her and she played as often as she could. She completed several years of college classes over the years after high school.
She held a variety of jobs prior to joining Southern Bell as a customer service specialist. After 34 years she retired to allow a younger person the opportunity to retain their job, as well as to spend more time with her mother. There were multiple name changes during her time with the telephone company, so when she retired it was from AT&T. She won several awards for delivering exemplary customer service over the years of her employment. She also made many life-long friends during her years in Customer Service. Recently, she worked at Wal-Mart and really enjoyed that experience, as well as making new friends!
Elise loved dancing, hanging out with friends and family, having pool parties and barbecues at her home, going to movies, concerts, and was always game to try something new. She loved to travel, although she was scared to fly. The last several years she has flown a lot more and was at a point where it didn’t terrify her to board an aircraft anymore. She would visit her sister, Chrystin, in Texas, several times a year. She particularly enjoyed Halloween in her sister’s neighborhood, the Munger Place Historic District, where there were several thousand “Trick-or-Treaters,” every year. In 2016, both Elise and Dorothy were there for Halloween and all the sisters dressed up as characters from Little Red Riding Hood. She also loved volunteering at the North Texas Irish Festival, and listening to the many Celtic musicians and bands. In 2013 she was able to make a trip to Santa Rosa and San Francisco, CA, with her daughter Heather, where she saw the Petrified Forest and giant redwood trees. She loved going to Florida beaches and her last trip was with her daughter, Natalie, and granddaughter, Tara, at St. George Island immediately prior to Hurricane Irma hitting the coast in 2017.
Her most important treasures were her family and friends. Her first marriage to Rod Rivers added Natalie Shawn Esther to the family. Her second marriage to Pete LaForgia added Heather Michelle. Natalie had three children, Tara Michelle Gilmer Starr (William), Donald Gilmer, III, (Erin), and Kimberly Gilmer. Heather has a son, Mason Kade Mote. In the last few months of her life, Elise was blessed with two great-grandchildren, William Cade Starr (Will and Tara) and Evelyn Gilmer (Trey and Erin).
Elise is survived by two aunts, Marcia Shapiro (Jeffrey), and Marion Redonnet. Elise is going to be terribly missed by her sisters, Chrystin Pleasants (Lonnie) and Dorothy Cedars (Robert), as well as their children/grandchildren: Christian Edwards, Brendan Pleasants, Jordan Pleasants (Julia), Ashley Cedars Clegg (Jeremy), Carson Clark (GC), Jason Cedars, Jason Cedars, Jr. (GC), Pamela Cedars, Abigail Cedars (GC), and Jayden Cedars (GC).
Elise’s mother, Dorothy Deeb Pollock, lived to the age of 96 and Elise ensured those years were a pleasure. Elise adored her mother and felt it was her greatest privilege to have her mom live with her for the last six years of mother’s life. Elise would take her to many events, most especially family parties/sports games of grandchildren, American Legion functions, bowling, to the movies, and on vacation. Elise and other family members took a memorable train trip from Atlanta to New Orleans for Dorothy’s 91st birthday. In 2015 and 2016, Elise, her sisters, and her Mother traveled to Massachusetts to visit family and friends. The 2016 trip’s main purpose was to celebrate Aunt Marcia and Uncle Jeff’s 50th anniversary, which was great fun, especially as we were all at their wedding. At that visit, we also got to visit with one of our mother’s first cousins, Johnny Howard, who was 101 at the time.
Elise was predeceased by three very dear friends. Noreen Berry and Ted Golder were her best friends from high school. Her friend Linda came to her later in life. Tyler Ann LaFlair Henson was another best friend who spent a great deal of time with her in the last weeks, and we are very grateful for her providing respite opportunities.
Pets were an important part of Elise’s life. When she was a teenager she fell in love with horses, and had her horse named Beast for many years. Her beloved Pomeranian named Midnight predeceased her, and her current Pomeranian named Starbucks is going to live with Heather.
On 29Jan2018 Elise succumbed to the effects of Stage IV adrenal carcinoma. Elise’s sisters and daughters, as well as Pete LaForgia and Keith Rook, were with her at the time of her death. She will be sorely missed by her family and a host of friends.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Bridgeway Hospice, especially her primary caregiver, Alexandra, who was so kind and gentle.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to St. Nicholas House (https://nicholashouse.org), Freedom from Bondage Women’s Recovery Residence (http://www.freedomfrombondage.com), St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church (http://www.stphilothea.org), or the charity of your choice.
Services for Elise will be as follows on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at Lawson Funeral Home Chapel, 6:00 – 7:00 pm viewing, 7:00 pm, eulogy, Dorothy Cedars 7:15 pm, Trisagion prayer service, Fr. Anthony Salzman, 8:00 pm end of visitation. The family will have a mercy meal and receive guests at the home of Elise LaForgia (296 Gordon Court, Winder, GA 30680) immediately after the memorial service on Thursday, February 8, 2018, from approximately 8:30 pm.
Funeral arrangements by Lawson Funeral Home, 4532 Hwy 53, Hoschton, GA, 30548, http://www.lawsonfuneralhome.org, 706-654-0966.