Elan Leonard Morsberger: 11/24/04 – 7/2/2023

Elan Morsberger died July 2, 2023 at the Children’s Hospital of New York of Columbia-Presbyterian, where he was born 18 years prior. He was surrounded by family, who took turns holding his hand and also his cat, who received special privileges to be in the icu.

Elan graduated from Croton Harmon High School in 2022. He wrote his college entrance essay from his hospital bed and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America in hopes of a career in cooking. Elan never gave up his dream of being a chef and even created a digital cookbook while he was in the hospital.

Elan was a well rounded young man, whose greatest asset was maintaining the deep relationships he developed with people of all ages. His loyalty to his friends was remarkable, and he shared his many passions with them. They included cooking, playing baseball, fishing, boating, going to sporting events, listening to music while driving, dreaming about owning fancy cars and online gaming.

Elan started Croton Little League when he was five and won the Cy Young award for pitching and years later, the all around sportsmanship award when he was on the majors. He also excelled at a local hit, pitch and run competition which led to Elan competing at the regionals in the Rockland Boulder’s Stadium. Elan lived in Hollywood, Florida for the second half of eighth grade and was awarded MVP of his recreational baseball team there, even though he was one of the smallest on that “Yankee” team. The coaches assigned him the number 2 since they knew Elan loved Derek Jeter.

Elan received the Transitional Alternative Program Certificate of Honor from the Croton High School in 2019 for his pursuit of success.

For his community service during high school, Elan was a research assistant at the Hudson Valley Stream Conservancy, a stream ecology and restoration nonprofit. Elan was responsible for developing a GoPro rig that captured the first photograph of an alewife river herring in the Hutchinson River since the 1800’s, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

His loss will be felt by many and was already evident by the over 300 people who came to his memorial celebration at Croton Point Park on July 9th, 2023. The attendees included more than 25 members of his hospital care team who had been like a family to Elan and his mom.

Elan was born with an unusual heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome and had three open heart surgeries before the age of four. In spite of all the medicines Elan took, special diet he followed and constant medical appointments, he always tried to be just a regular guy. When he was 13, he needed to be followed regularly with the heart failure, heart transplant team. Elan had a heart transplant on 2/9/22 and suffered complications from rejection, in spite of his compliance with all of the necessary medical treatments.

Although he was not Jewish, Elan’s name means oak tree in Hebrew and embodied the strength he possessed. His mom would often say, “avec Élan”, French for with life.

He was predeceased by his father Robert Morsberger.

Elan will be profoundly missed by his mother Lisa Morsberger, his sister Eva Parker, his brothers Ben Morsberger and Jesse Morsberger, his grandmother Gillian Mader, his aunt Wendy Morsberger and uncle Gareth Hougham.

In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation in memory of Elan to Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, 832 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591 or via online at hudson.wish.org/donate

1 Comment

  1. Thank you, RJC for posting “Two Young Men, Gone too soon”. Indeed, too soon. It seems like what we need now are young people who understood that life’s meaning comes from relationships and interactions with other people.
    I didn’t have the good fortune to meet Elan but know his wonderful, gentle and beautiful mother, Lisa… judging from the turn out and emotions expressed at Elan’s memorial/celebration—in torrential rain—there is no doubt that there is hope for all of us when so many young and old of the community show up, to value someone who touched the community with his heart and made a difference.

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