Elias Hage Obituary

Elias  Jospeh  Hage
Elias Jospeh Hage

October 12, 1932 - August 7, 2017
Born in New London, Connecticut
Resided in Waterford, CT


Waterford - Elias Joseph Hage, 84, of Seabreeze Drive, passed away at home on Monday, August 7, 2017. He was surrounded by his family and his devoted friend, Ed Najim.

Elias was the only child of Lebanese immigrants, Munira Jimal and Joseph Simon Hage of New London. His mother called him "Lou" to distinguish him from his uncle and namesake who also lived with them. The nickname stuck. Losing his mother to cancer when he was 11 years old affected Elias profoundly. With few close relatives and an expansive heart, Elias spent his life creating an ever-growing circle of family and friends that extended to the community at large.

Elias attended Bulkeley High School, where he graduated in 1951, and attended every reunion until this year. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1955 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1957, after which he worked a brief stint in retail at J.C. Penny in upstate New York. Retail was not his calling, but it was then that he met the love of his life, Eleanor Nicholas, while visiting a distant relation in Utica. They married in 1960 and raised four children in New London before moving to Waterford in 1973. Elias and Eleanor shared 51 years together, before Eleanor died in 2011.

Beloved Teacher

Following the advice of his father, Elias found his true calling as a teacher. For 38 years, Elias primarily taught history and economics at Lyme/Old Lyme High School where he inspired generations of students, several of whom later became friends and kept in touch with him throughout the years."He's an institution here," said Principal W. Scott Brown at the time of Elias's retirement. "There are few who have such a soulful relationship with the students and community." He was passionate about the subject matter and personally invested in the success of his students. He had a knack for making students want to do their best, motivating them with a combination of respect, praise, and even guilt. He took his classes on unforgettable field trips to New York City every year to see the UN, the The New York Stock Exchange, a Broadway show, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Spanish Harlem.

Lover of the Arts

Elias fell in love with opera listening to radio broadcasts as a child. His first purchase was a recording of Enrico Caruso that he played on a hand-crank Victrola. He loved the theater, attending plays and musicals in New York, Goodspeed Opera House and the Eugene O'Neill theater in Waterford. He was a patron of these organizations and many other philanthropic causes. He shared his passion for the arts with his children and grandchildren, taking them to plays, concerts, operas and museums.


Elias genuinely loved people and cherished those who shared a history with him. Entertaining friends with food and lively conversation to celebrate joyous times, and moral support during difficult ones, made life meaningful for Elias. His friendships lasted a lifetime, maintaining childhood friends and making new ones in each phase of his life. He had the kind of personality that drew people in, making each person feel special. One friend said that the greatest compliment you can give to someone in our community is to say, "You are just like Lou" or "You are just like Nori (his wife)."


Elias was never more happy than when his entire family was gathered in his home in front of the massive Christmas tree, taking long swims together at the beach, or piled into the family car for vacation. "As long as we are together" was his refrain.

Elias was a devout Catholic with a special devotion to the Virgin Mary in memory of his mother.

He is survived by his four children, Joseph Elias Hage and his wife, Traci, John Luke Hage and his wife, Lydia, Sarah Marie Hage and her husband, Mark Eckard, and Catherine Ann Hage and her partner, Reno Rhind; as well as five grandchildren, Lukas Hage, Joelle Hage, Isabelle Hage, Giuliana Hage, and Gabriela Hage. and many extended family members.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10, in St. Joseph's Church, 17 Squire St., New London. Interment to follow in St. Mary's Cemetery.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Ave., New London.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Elias J. Hage History/Economics Award Lyme-Old Lyme High School, St. Joseph's School in New London or Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut.



Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT US 06320
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Joseph Church
17 Squire Street
New London, CT US 06320
Thursday, August 10, 2017
10:00 AM

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