Elna Mae Richter, 98, of Hendersonville, NC, passed away Friday, January 24, 2020, with her loving daughter, Robin Smith, and special friend Bobbie Kornfeld by her side at the Carolina Village Care Center. Among her last words was a prayer of faith and gratitude for all her blessings.
Elna was born on May 1, 1921, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the late Richard B. and Jean M. (Maycroft) Franks. She was the third of five children, one of whom, Mary Lou Page, survives her.
Elna was talented in music and art. Early in life she became proficient in violin, learning the instrument from a strict teacher who she remembered fondly over the years. She often recalled playing in a local symphony orchestra during her 20’s. She also had a fine natural talent for sketching and painting, and in later life she painted watercolor portraits of her children, other family members, and friends. Those portraits, and other fine artwork, are her lasting legacy.
Elna was blessed with four outstanding men in her life, outliving them all. After 34 years of marriage to Frank R. Maston, Elna found companionship for 19 years with C. Maynard Turner. Following Mr. Turner’s passing, Elna married Julian R. Ronse and enjoyed four wonderful years with him. At the age of 84, Elna married Robert A. Richter and moved to Carolina Village where they had many friends. Throughout her adult life Elna focused on caring for the men she loved, and each of them returned her love with complete devotion.
Elna leaves behind five living children: Frank Richard Maston Jr., Gail Barbara Maston, Lawrence Charles Maston, William Henry Maston, and Robin Maston Smith. Her infant daughter, Suzanne Lou Maston, passed away shortly after birth. She had 14 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. With her first husband, Frank, she lived out and inculcated in her children the values of faithfulness, integrity, and charity, values she often recalled learning from her grandfather, William Henry Maycroft. Elna also is remembered for the great inner strength she developed by overcoming many challenges in her childhood and early adult life.
During the two years prior to her death, Elna was cared for by four wonderful women: Barbara Kornfeld, Lenore Bonessi, Andrea Bobrink, and Cynthia Shaefer. The family is truly grateful for the love they shared with her as her mind and body slowly failed.
A memorial service will be held at 2 pm Sunday, February 16th, at the Carolina Village Hall, Hendersonville. Memorials in lieu of flowers may be sent to Smile Train, one of her favorite charities.
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