The beloved servant of God, Elayna Helen (Leos) Brooks, passed away after a long battle with illness on May 1st, 2023 in Asheville, NC. Elayna was 57 years old at the time of her passing.
Elayna was born on July 21, 1965 in Bridgeport, CT to Sarah Asper (Zariff) Leos and George James Leos. She was a longtime resident of Fairfield, CT and graduated from Andrew Ward High School. Anyone who knew Elayna knew that she was a bundle of joy–she loved people, socializing, and bringing happiness to all who met her. Those who loved her will always remember her smile. In 1988 Elayna married the love of her life, Neil Brooks with whom she had two wonderful daughters.
At age 35 tragedy struck when Elayna had a brain aneurysm which left her paralyzed. She was given less than a 1% chance to live; however, she survived. Elayna was a fighter, and until her final day on earth was still astounding doctors by going out fighting and beating medical odds. Her husband Neil was committed to making sure she had as normal of a life as possible even with her disability and made sure that she experienced everything she wanted in life until the end, 22 years after doctors said it would be impossible. Elayna is proof that nothing is impossible and only God has the final say. Those around her will always know her by God’s favor to express the miraculous.
Facing rejection, suffering, and abandonment like her Lord and Savior after becoming wheelchair bound, her closest friends were nurses and neighbors who delighted in her unwavering joy and optimism. Even with her disability she lived life to the fullest. Some of her favorite things were playing cards and monopoly, exploring Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, watching cooking shows and Nascar races, visiting neighbors and, most of all, being with her children and grandchildren at every opportunity.
She has joyfully reunited with those she was predeceased by including: her father George James Leos, mother Sarah Asper Zariff, goddaughter/niece Kyleigh Helen Leos, uncle Rev. Fr. Anthony Basil Gavalas and godmother/aunt Theodora (Leos) Gavalas, godfather/uncle Joseph Asper Zariff, aunt Irene Zariff, her sister-in-law Brenda Brooks, Sittu and Jiddu, Papou and Yiayia.
Elayna is survived by her loving husband and caretaker, Neil M. Brooks, her daughters Rev. Pastor Sarah Ann Hardman and Amanda Brooks, her son-in-laws Rev. David Scott Hardman Jr. and Ryan Justin Booth, grandchildren: Nathanial, Shawn, and Asper, and her fur-grandbabies: Samira, Butters, Benny, and Hondo.
There will be a private celebration of life for the close family and friends. Her ashes will be scattered to symbolize her freedom from being wheelchair bound and now once again dancing like she loved.
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