In the late evening hours of October 31, 2010, Point Arena, Calif., resident, Elle Waters, 59, passed from this earth due to respiratory complications arising from her long and challenging bout with salivary gland cancer.
Elle was born on February 7, 1951, to Frances and Sherman Rafkin. As a child, she spent her summers on Cape Cod, Mass., at her grandparents' house in Onset, Mass. Elle graduated from high school in Sharon, Mass., in 1969, and attended Hofstra University in New York where she majored in theater. In the early 1970s, she traveled West to San Diego, Calif., and got involved in the restaurant business; then north to Santa Barbara, Calif., where she managed a restaurant and met John Lockwood. They moved to the Santa Cruz mountains, got married, had three boys and moved to Grass Valley until 1986, when they moved to Point Arena.
Longtime Point Arena residents will fondly remember her as Elle Lockwood, who created and ran Crystalwood Natural Foods in Point Arena, and served gallantly on the board of Acorn School for many years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During those years as she raised her three boys, Justin, Danny and Dru. Elle's community activism was extensive, pragmatic and always full of passion, color and her unique theatrical flair. Those who knew Elle well, will appreciate how she could, in the middle of practicing any number of healing arts or making jewelry, spontaneously break into lyrical singing from any Broadway musical, bar none.
In 1989, Elle was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer. The alternative treatments that she
underwent in Mexico afforded her a time of remission until 2004, when the tumor began to grow again.
In 1993, the family moved to Florence, Ore. The marriage ended in 1995, and Elle moved to
Ashland, Ore., where she continued raising her boys, obtained her Oregon massage therapist
license and practiced massage therapy and reiki, as well as providing body work for the elderly. During this time she appeared in many theatrical productions in her son, Justin's, theater company, Art Attack, including the leading roles in "The Allergist's Wife" and "Lion in Winter." She received acknowledgment in the Sneak Preview's Best of Ashland for Best Off Bardway Actress.
As Elle's cancer worsened, she moved to Seattle in 2005, with Justin and his wife, Nicole, where she underwent cancer treatment and participated in a hospital pastoral program. Her long journey with this kind of cancer brought many trials and tribulations, but it also evoked deep spiritual initiations that her family and her many friends were privileged to witness, as she tried to balance the hope for a cure or a miracle with the acceptance of grief, fear and letting go.
In the summer of 2007, Elle returned to Point Arena, Calif., for the soulful nature and the nurturance that the coast and the community of Point Arena offers. Her journey there these past three years has been a teaching of extraordinary grace, inviting all of us to be ever more present to the blessings in our lives each and every moment. Her son, Dru, says it best with these words:
The dignity and courage that she carried herself with, while living with cancer until the end of her life, will forever stand in my mind as an example of a spiritual woman putting her beliefs into practice and thusly easing her journey back to God with joy and love in her heart.
Elle is survived by her 88 year-old mother, Frances; brother, Michael Rafkin, of Portland, Maine; sister, Jodi Rafkin, of Portland, Ore.; son, Justin Lockwood, his wife, Nicole, and their son, Shylo, of Seattle, Wash.; Danny Lockwood, and his wife, Yao Wei, of New York City, N.Y.; and Dru Lockwood, of Los Angeles.
There will be a memorial service at the home of Fred and Cheryl Mitouer, on Sunday,
November 28, 2010, at 2:00 p.m., 44800 Fish Rock Road, The Dragon Gate, Point Arena,