Tribute for Richard E. Elson | Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel
Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel and cremations in Modesto, and Ceres CA
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Richard E. Elson

February 20, 1929 ~ September 22, 2019 (age 90)

Richard (Dick) Elson passed away, at home on September 22, 2019 surrounded by his family. He was born at home in Denver, Colorado to Elizabeth and N.O. Elson on February 20, 1929.  He was the eldest of four children, the big brother to three sisters, Joann Nunes, Donna Elson, and Jeanne Nation all of Modesto.  In 1939 they moved to Modesto and he attended Cole elementary then graduated from Ceres High School in 1946.  He was drafted during the Korean War, then went to Cal to finish his education. At Cal’s Newman Club he met his future wife, Kay Helgesson, and life-long friend Ray Flanders.  Dick and Kay were married for 62 years and raised three children: Matthew (Amber) and Greg both of Los Angeles and Jennifer of San Francisco .Grandchildren Garth, August and Basil. In 1959 he opened HAPPY HOUSE in McHenry Village where he served as Association President. He was active in Knights of Columbus for 70 years, Serra Club for 50 years and Kiwanis for 20.  He loved golfing, wood working, and traveled extensively with Kay in their R.V.  He also enjoyed one summer sailing with their friends, the Wilsons, in the Mediterranean. Dick was an original member of St. Joseph’s Church, and they hosted the first mass in their home with Fr. McManus presiding.


There will be a viewing for Richard Elson at Franklin & Downs McHenry Chapel, 1050 McHenry Ave., Modesto, on Thursday, October 3, 2019, from 4:00-6:00 PM; and a vigil at 6:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, October 4, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1813 Oakdale Rd., Modesto, at 9:30AM.


If you are considering sending flowers or other material gestures of your love to the Elson Family, we kindly ask that you use those funds to help others in our community by donating to Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356 or Saint Jude’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place Memphis, TN 38105, St. Vincent de Paul at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1813 Oakdale Rd., Modesto, CA 95355.  

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