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Elaine Lucille (Houghton) Onan passed away surrounded by her family at her home on April 15, 2021. Born to George and Marguerite Houghton on September 27, 1931, Elaine grew up in and around Lowell, Michigan.

Elaine spent her early years at home near Morse Lake, where she enjoyed fishing and ice skating with her brother Ray. She fondly remembered her country childhood, and early photos frequently show Elaine with an armful of kittens, evidence of a love of cats that endured throughout her life.

Elaine was known for her beautiful singing voice and loved to play the piano, which she studied in her youth. Always ready with a smile, Elaine was nominated as Homecoming Queen of her graduating class at Lowell High School in 1947, the same year that she was chosen as the first queen of the Lowell Showboat.

Elaine married Richard E. Onan in 1950, and they moved to Midland in 1952. Richard’s job at the Dow Chemical Company sent the then family of seven to France in 1966. Elaine treasured her time in Europe, which allowed her to travel and visit many historic sites with her husband and children. Returning home in 1967, Elaine and Richard welcomed their sixth child.

Her love of music ever-present, Elaine sang at many local events and weddings. She was also an active member of the Midland Chorale and the Memorial Presbyterian Choir. Elaine began working for the City of Midland Police Department in 1980 and quickly came to love her job. Her retirement in 1999 was bittersweet as many colleagues had become good friends.

In retirement, Elaine loved taking trips to Ludington and Traverse City with her children and was an avid gardener. The sun porch at her home on Sharon Ct. became one of her favorite places. Looking out at her flower gardens, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and cats, was a favorite pastime for her, as it was for all of us who will miss her so dearly.

Elaine is predeceased by her beloved sons Richard E. Onan Jr. and Patrick H. Onan. She is survived by her children, Philip Onan of Midland; Kathleen (Onan) and Richard Comunale of Ipswich, MA; Rosemary (Onan) and DuWayne Dougherty of Traverse City; Paul and Ann Onan of Bath; and Rose (Baudoux) Onan of Saginaw; her grandchildren, Michael and Kristin Onan, Joshua Onan, Courtney Onan, Rachael (Comunale) and James Eaglesham, Benjamin Comunale, and Samuel Onan; and her great-grandson, Finn Eaglesham.

In lieu of flowers, please consider Midland County Humane Society in her honor.

Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Onan family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.

Condolence Messages

  1. Margret Dorman

    03 May 2021 2 weeks ago

    OMG- I worked with Elaine at the police department and was so very happy to be a co-worker of hers. She was always so happy and loved to talk about her kiddos. She definately was an angel in disguise when I worked with her. She will definately be missed by those who worked with her and those who knew her all the years in Midland. RIP in Elaine and drive that “red hotrod” car through the streets of heaven.

  2. Barbara Ruhberg

    21 April 2021 4 weeks ago

    TO ELAINE ONAN’S FAMILY, MY SYMPATHY TO EACH OF YOU IN YOUR MOM’S PASSING. BEING A NEIGHBOR TO ELAINE ON SHARON COURT WAS WHERE OUR FRIENDSHIP BEGAN. WHEN WE BOTH MOVED TO NEW NEIGHBORHOODS,THE TELEPHONE BECAME OUR WAY OF STILL HAVING CONVERSATIONS TOGETHER. I REMEMBER HOW FOND ELAINE WAS OF CATS. THEY’ED NEVER STAY AROUND WHEN I’D STOP FOR A VISIT. A SAFER PLACE HAD TOP PRORITY. I DID HEAR SOME CAT STORIES FROM TIME TO TIME. I REMEMBER VISITING ELAINE IN HER NEW HOME ONE JANUARY EVE. KATHY WAS IN THE KITCHEN BAKING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. (PHIL, I KNEW THIS WOULD BE A TREAT FOR YOU) BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO SHARE THEM. WHILE DRIVING ON WHEELER ROAD RECENTLY, WE BOTH TALKED ABOUT YOUR MOM….HOW IS SHE?…….WHERE IS SHE? THEN TO SEE HER OBITUARY SHOCKED US. WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE SPECIAL MEMORIES OF YOUR FAMILY. LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, BARBARA RUHBERG

  3. Janet Grimm

    19 April 2021 4 weeks ago

    Rosemary- I am so sorry about your mom. She will be missed by you all. Love Janet Grimm

  4. Kurt Maurer

    19 April 2021 4 weeks ago

    I am sorry to hear of your loss Rosemary and I am sure she will be missed very much by all who knew and loved her.

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