Elaine was born, Elaine Louise Barker to Carol Ann Barker and David Galen Barker, in Pratt, KS, March 11, 1970 in a blizzard. She passed away with friends and family near her on Friday, March 31, 2023 after battling cancer for several years. She was raised in Pratt, mostly by her mother, Carol until age 11. The family then moved to Scottsdale, AZ where her mother remarried. Elaine missed being far from her grandparents and some lifelong friends, but she enjoyed Arizona. She adopted the nickname Cricket, and then later Lainey. She graduated from McClintock High School, in Tempe, AZ where she became involved with Junior Achievement, meeting other students from high schools all over the East Valley. She attended on scholarship, all four years, Junior Achievement’s annual convention in Bloomington, Indiana. Later she attended as a photographer and then became a “Pink Fink”, a counselor of a group, at NAJAC. She met lifelong friends through Junior Achievement, and she claimed they were a part of “saving” her. She attended Mesa Community College where she met and married Fernando Cota, she always claimed to have got her “Mrs” degree there. They celebrated their 30th Wedding Anniversary in Hawaii with their son, Vincent Cota and his girlfriend, Caroline Fiss. Elaine had an amazing 30+ year career in newspapers in Mesa and Ahwatukee areas with the East Valley Tribune, Ahwatukee Foothills News and many more papers throughout Arizona. She was the “classified guru” and had some treasured customers for over 20 years, many for over 15 years. She made so many lifelong friends in her years through the newspapers, she treasured them and held them close to her heart. However, everyone knows that Elaine is happy to be reunited with Vicki Serna and hopes everyone is jealous! Elaine started scrapbooking in 1988 when she put together a scrapbook for her Junior Achievement NAJAC group. In 1995, when pregnant with Vincent she started up again and she never quit. Scrapbooking was her hobby but it was part of her being. Everyone that knew her, knew she was a paper crafter. One of her favorite things to do was to make and send cards, which she did for years and years. She loved to surprise friends with “happy mail.” The friends she “collected” through the years with scrapbooking is expansive. She had friends from all over the country, knowing some only through the computer screen, but that she felt extremely close with. She attended many scrapbooking retreats and gained even more friends. Elaine is survived, by her loving husband, Fernando Cota; her son, Vincent; father in law, John Cota of Heber, AZ, mother in law, Roxanna Cota of Phoenix, AZ and Mama Sharon Dodson of Ellis, KS; sisters, Betty Eisenhour of Stafford, KS, Latisha Haag, of Ellis, KS, Kendra Turner of Hutchinson, KS, and Joann Cota of Peoria, AZ; nephews: Art Olmos of Mesa, AZ and Philip, Noah, Isaiah and Simon Eisenhour of Stafford, KS, Zeke and Asher Haag of Ellis, KS, Zade and Zerek Turner of Hutchinson, KS; nieces: Kaydawn Haag of Ellis, KS, Lora, Heidi, and Hannah Eisenhour of Stafford, KS; and grandniece, Mardou Bey of Mesa, AZ; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and hundreds of friends. Elaine leaves behind friends by the hundreds, however, Barbara Duran, Stephanie Brunner, and Christine Torres will be especially missed on the daily. Elaine battled Kidney Cancer, being diagnosed during the pandemic, September 2020. She and her family would like to thank Mayo Clinic for their compassionate care; her friends and her Facebook Group members for supporting her journey every step of the way; for all the prayers, cards, gifts, and so much love expressed to her that helped carry her through the hard days. In lieu of flowers please feel free to make a donation on behalf of Elaine Cota to one of the following: • The Olive Press, Domestic Shelter in Mesa https://theolivepress.org/ • Hospice of the Valley https://www.hov.org/donate/ • Crops of Luv, https://cropsofluv.org/ They complete scrapbooks of trips of ill children that have gone on their Wish trip.
This obituary was written by Elaine (Lainey) Cota, who continues to take care of those she leaves behind.
Visitation and services will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023 Visitation 10am-11am Services 11am Bunker Family Funerals & Cremation 33 N. Centennial Way Mesa, AZ 85201
Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.