Salon 14
Official Obituary of

Elissa Mary Ann Speckmann

March 9, 1932 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Elissa Speckmann Obituary

Elissa Mary Ann Speckmann was born in New Jersey in 1932.  She described herself as “a child of the depression” who enjoyed the modest prosperity her career brought her, and was cautiously optimistic and ready to help others who were in difficulty. Her mother died when she was in her teens, so she went to live with her indulgent paternal grandparents.  Her education was religious and strict, and she admitted that she sometimes was rebellious and deserved correction.  She remembered her teachers with affection, and attempted to follow their example and enter a convent, but left after a short time.  

She sampled the varieties of work then available to young women, and settled on a career in nursing.  She liked her diverse work in nursing, but eventually, in the context of marital difficulties and strong patriotic feelings, decided to join the Navy.  She immensely enjoyed her 27 years in the Navy Nurse Corps, eagerly accepting assignments from Vietnam to Iceland.  Recognizing her talents, the Navy sponsored her while she gained an advanced degree at Boston University.  

The friends that she made in the Navy were an enduring part of her life.  Her broad tolerance and amusing stories of her eventful career made her a treasured companion.  She achieved the rank of Captain and won many awards.  In her final assignment she demonstrated the range of her skills when she ran the Nursing Service at the Bethesda Naval Hospital during the demanding period of the Gulf War.  

On retirement she involved herself increasingly with her church, St. Mary’s in Rockville MD, and valued the many friends that she made there.  She was a member of the Third Order of Dominicans. She enjoyed travel, especially when it took her to visit old friends, and attended diverse classes at the Smithsonian Museum, with a particular interest in music.  Despite health problems in her later years, she remained cheerfully active until her death at age 92.  

To her family and friends through out her life she was loved and admired for her passion in life. She was known by many names Elissa, Lisi, Lee, Captain and Dragon Lady.  All with love and affection.   Every time she came to New Jersey the whole family made sure they gathered to see her and hear of her latest adventures.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30am on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 520 Veirs Mill Rd, Rockville, MD 20852. 

Loved by all who knew her. 

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Memorial Mass
April 27, 2024

10:30 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
520 Veirs Mill Road
Rockville, MD 20852
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