R. Lucille Eliasberg, a former executive assistant at the Roland Park Country School who was known equally for her charm and toughness, will be remembered Saturday at the school where her daughter and granddaughter followed her.
Ms. Eliasberg died of age-related issues Wednesday at Presbyterian Home of Maryland in Towson. She was 93.
"She was a woman to admire for her courage, spunk and character, but the message in her eye and her bearing was unmistakable: offend at your peril," said her oldest son, Richard R. Jones, 62, president of PCA, a graphics company in Timonium.
"She stood reserved from disputes between family members and friends until she was asked to give her opinion, and then hers was the last word," Mr. Jones said.
A 1937 graduate of Roland Park Country School, Ms. Eliasberg worked for nearly a decade as administrative assistant to longtime RPCS headmistress Anne Healy, then for several years as assistant to Walters Art Gallery director Richard H. Randall. Later in life, she volunteered at the Charlesbrooke Community in the Pinehurst area of Baltimore, where she lived. Mrs. Eliasberg also attended the Strayer Business School in Baltimore.
Her daughter, R. Elizabeth Elkins of Baltimore, said the family has carried on a tradition at Roland Park Country School, with Mrs. Elkins graduating in 1971 and her daughter, Meredith, graduating in 2002.
"The whole family has a particular connection to Roland Park," Mrs. Elkins said.
Ms. Eliasberg's grandchildren nicknamed her "Auntie Mame," after the 1958 movie that depicts a free-spirited, exuberant Manhattan woman.
"Mother was very much like her," Mrs. Elkins said. "She was a wonderful personality. She was vibrant. She was fun. She was the kind of person that her children and her grandchildren can now just look back and smile at the times we had with mother."
Born Regina Lucille Gettier in Baltimore, she was raised on Charles Street, opposite Wyman Park, where her father, Frederick W. Gettier, conducted a dentistry practice. Her mother was born Edna Kranz.
In 1950, she married Elisha Riggs Jones, who merged his own investment firm into Eastmond Dillon Union Securities and managed that firm's Baltimore office until his death in 1964. They raised three children at the Font Hill estate, outside Ellicott City in Howard County, and at a home adjacent to the Sherwood Gardens in Guilford. They were members of St. David's Episcopal Church and the Baltimore Country Club.
"Mom ran the family after dad died," Mr. Jones said. "She had a ready wit and a deep sympathy for the distress of others."
In 1974, she married Louis E. Eliasberg Sr., her late husband's best friend.
"Dad and Louie were best of friends," Mr. Jones said. "Louie was a widower and, after a time, the two of them got together, which was a wonderful thing for my mother."
A financier and coin collector, Mr. Eliasberg was internationally known for accumulating what was considered the only compete collection of United States coins ever assembled. He founded the Finance Company of America and served on numerous boards, including Maryland National Bank. The couple shared time between homes in Baltimore and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
After Mr. Eliasberg's death in 1976, Ms. Eliasberg traveled abroad extensively.
Ms. Eliasberg showered her grandchildren with gifts and let them play with her Yorkshire Terrier, named Susie.
"Mother was always, always pretty," said Mrs. Elkins. "She dressed with quality and style. She had a sophistication about her. That was a strength or hers, and she knew her strengths. She flirted her way out of an untold number of traffic tickets."
The family is planning a celebration of Ms. Eliasberg's life, to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Roland Park Country School. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the school.
Survivors include two sons, Richard R. Jones of Towson and Frederick R. Jones of Baltimore; daughter R. Elizabeth Elkins of Baltimore, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren, as well as a family friend of more than 50 years, Nancy Faust. A stepson, Richard A. Eliasberg, lives in Baltimore. A sister, Elise G. Watkins of Palo Alto, Calif., died in 2004.
twitter.com/lukebroadwaterCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun