Published in The Washington Post on July 20, 2019
Mary Faith Elson Suarez
daughter of the late Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Edward L. R. Elson and wife of Rafael Jose (Joe)
Suarez, died peacefully in her Martinsburg, W VA home, her husband at her side, on May 31,
A 1964 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC, Mary Faith held a
college degree in accounting.
Among other jobs, she worked as a legal secretary at Dunaway McCarthy & Dye and at
Wilmer Cutler Pickering. She was also a writer of fiction and church history and an enthusiast
and occasional performer (in youth with her guitar) of folk songs, hymns, and more. Her
resilience allowed her to negotiate the difficulties of life with grace, and her gregarious nature
won friends not only in Washington, Baltimore, and Martinsburg, but also in Cape Breton
(Canada), where she met her first husband, Duncan MacRae.
She is survived by her husband, Joe, who helped her greatly in her last years; by daughter,
Melanie MacRae Downie (Chris); siblings, Eleanor Heginbotham, Beverly Elson; and David
Elson; and grandsons, Gordon Bishop and Ian Downie.
Her life will be celebrated at a memorial service at Trinity Episcopal Church in
Shepherdstown, WV 25443 at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in honor of Mary Faith may be sent to St. Jude Children's Research