Passing of Knight of Baha'u'llah Elena Maria Marsella
Elena Maria Marsella, Knight of Baha'u'llah to the Gilbert and Ellis Islands (now known as Kiribati and Tuvalu), passed away at 1:14 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, in Kailua, Hawai'i.
A day earlier, Elena had suffered a massive heart attack in her home and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. She was placed on a life support system while family members in the United States mainland were informed of her condition.
Elena's physician determined that her heart was no longer able to function, and adhering to the provisions of her Living Will, the life support system was disconnected a little after one in the afternoon.
Fifteen Baha'is from Ko'olaupoko and Honolulu representing Hawaiian, Samoan, Chinese and white races gathered in her hospital room and shared prayers with Elena before she passed away.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Elena pursued several careers: as a pianist, a member of the foreign service and as a teacher.
Elena was as a member of the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Hawaiian Islands and served for a number years until she was appointed to the Regional Board of Counsellors for North East Asia where she served diligently for many years.
In addition to her many spiritual qualities and steadfastness in the Covenant, Elena was known for her encyclopedic knowledge of the Faith, world history and world affairs. She authored a book about the ancient civilization of Sumer entitled The Quest for Eden. The close of her earthly life mirrors the closing line of her book: "What is there now to hinder us? The gates are open wide."
She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Prayers for the progress of her radiant soul will be deeply appreciated.
With Aloha and warmest Baha'i love,
The National Spiritual Assembly
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