Elaine Budin was born in Philadelphia. Before coming to Los Angeles, she was active in a union organization in Chicago. She was a kindergarten teacher for 35 years in an inner city school in Los Angeles. She worked closely with Theresa and Blase Bonpane as a volunteer for The Office of The Americas from 1992 to 2010. She has two nieces. Her niece Jeanie Budin Smithers has three sons, Elaine’s great nephews; David, Gabriel and Matthew. They considered Elaine their Grandma.
Here are some commemorations of Elaine by co-workers:
My Lawyers Guild office in the old Peace Center on Third St., was next to that of the Office of The Americas, who, in fact, gave up one of their rooms to allow the Guild to have an office there. Elaine was, of course, one of the most loyal and hardworking volunteers at OOA; working tirelessly there and it seemed everywhere, for peace. All without great fanfare. All without concern for credit or fame. Such a sweet and quiet peace worker; such a model for us all. In this regard, she reminded me of Dorothea in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, of whom, after Dorothea’s death, Eliot writes, “The fact that the world goes as well for you and me as it does, is at least half-owing to those who led quiet lives and lie in unvisited tombs”. Indeed, where would we be without the likes of people like Elaine Budin? — Jim Lafferty
I last saw Elaine in 2019. I didn’t see anyone for most of 2020! She was also a supporter and volunteer for my organization, The Center For The Study of Political Graphics – (CSPG). I will remember Elaine for many things – her intelligence and commitment, her sense of humor, her caring and her magnetic smile. Another tear in the fabric of humanity. Elaine Budin ¡Presente! — Carol Wells
In celebration of Elaine Budin’s life, I would like to share my memories of many years working side by side with her at The Office of The Americas and in many other campaigns! She was one of the most principled persons I have ever known. She dedicated her whole life entirely to Peace and Justice! Elaine worked as a volunteer at OOA non-stop through all the projects, wars, meetings, trials, etc. And all the joys as well. We had a wonderful family of volunteers. Elaine was one of the most thorough and hardest workers that we all could count on. Blase and I loved her dearly. I am so glad I had the chance to have talked with her two weeks ago, when we shared many memories together. I love her, miss her and hope she is at peace. – Elaine Budin: Presente, Presente, Presente! — Theresa Bonpane
Today my dear, dear friend Elaine Budin made her transition. I adored her. I worked closely with her at The Office of The Americas, where she was the volunteer coordinator. Elaine was also a teacher and a social justice activist. She taught me so much about peace and justice. But most importantly she taught me the value of love and friendship. My heart is broken but my soul is filled with love. I have been in constant contact with her since I left Los Angeles a year and a half ago. We would chat regularly. In the last month and a half I spoke with her pretty much every day. She was in hospice at her home and was taken care of by some wonderful people. She is out of pain now. I will miss her immensely. Elaine was a wonderful human being. Rest in Peace my sweet Elaine. You’re always around me. — Shae Popovich
Elaine was the best of us. She was the first to volunteer, to give of herself and her time to many of The Peace Center organizations with good cheer and poignant humor. Elaine will be missed and remembered by those who miss her most. — Lydia Brazon
I knew Elaine thru her work with The Office of The Americas. I have to agree with what everyone else has said here. She was a such a positive force for truth, justice and for love. She was a mainstay at the OOA. I am so glad I got to know her. It’s because of people like Elaine that the Anti-War/Peace & Justice Movement has continued to reach more and more people. — Frank Dorrel