Elena O'Shea: Maggie’s mother, born to a conservative Cuban-immigrant father and a tree-hugging liberal mother, grew up in Miami. With heavy Cuban cultural influences learned from her father, and an equally deep passion for people learned from her mother, Elena gravitated to the art world. She studied drawing, painting, and sculpture at Florida State University, where she completed a Masters in Fine Arts before meeting a green-eyed Arkansan, David O’Shea. The two fell madly in love and became inseparable. Elena married David just six months after their chance encounter at a Miami bowling alley. They moved to Boca Raton, where David pursued a career in marketing. Elena gave birth to Maggie four years later and she left her career to stay home and raise their daughter. Eight years later, Elena and David had a son, Mitch. Elena longed to re-enter the art world, but was never willing to devote the time needed until her children were older. Shortly after Mitch entered grade school, the economy collapsed. Elena entered the work force to help the family survive when David’s company of 16 years downsized him out of a job. Elena began working for an advertising agency, touching up other peoples’ artwork. While the work failed to make use of the full range of Elena’s skills, it put food on the table and for that she was grateful.
When David lost his subsequent job and the bank foreclosed on their home, the O’Sheas made the painful decision to leave their home in south Florida, as well as Elena's family, and move to the Ozarks to live with David’s closest living relative, May O’Shea. With a fiery determination to make the best of the situation, and with an iron resolve to do whatever was necessary to protect her family, Elena embraced the move to Arkansas and made up her mind to seek out new opportunities. Most people described Elena as warm, beautiful, intelligent, and a force of nature.