Elaine Barbara Washington was born Sept. 22, 1964, to the late James Hargrove and Elizabeth Barber. She grew up in the community of Westphalia Estates in Upper Marlboro, Md., and attended Prince George’s County public schools. She also attended college at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Elaine loved the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized as a teenager with her sister Sheila. She attended Empowerment Temple in Baltimore. She didn’t hesitate to travel there from D.C. on Sundays to be fed the word from Pastor Jamal Bryant. In fact, she would even commute during the week as well for Bible study and New Year’s Eve. She thought that ushering in a new your ought to be done praising God. Her earthly love was first for her children, then her family and friends. Her passion was reading books and listening to music. She would near and far for a good concert, especially when it came to Lyfe Jennings. She also enjoyed traveling, spending time at the resort in Spotsylvania, Va., and simply having fun. She was so much like her parents, James and Elizabeth, adopting many children as her own making many friends.

Elaine started working in the federal government with the U.S. Patent Office. She decided to leave the government for a short period of time. When she returned to work, she became employed at the University of South California (USC). After USC moved its graduate program from Washington, D.C., Elaine went to work for Georgetown University. She then left Georgetown University to return to the federal government, working for the Office of the Administrator at NASA. Elaine loved her job at NASA. She and her family were overwhelmed with appreciation for the overflow of love that NASA employees gave to Elaine during her illness with home/hospital visits, monetary and non-monetary gifts, flowers and hundreds of hours of donated leave. In fact, Elaine enjoyed the abundance of love that was shown to her by all of her past co-workers and friends.