James Charles Elliott
James Charles Elliott,78, passed away in the hospital on the morning of February 1, 2022 in Annapolis, Maryland after struggling with a number of health issues over the past several years. Jim was born in Newport, Rhode Island on December 13, 1943 and was the first son of Charles Earl Elliott and Margaret A. (Sullivan) Elliott. Jim grew up in Newport’s Fifth Ward attending Carey Elementary School and Thompson Junior High School. He was a 1962 graduate of Rogers High School. That class was the first to attend the new high school for three years before their graduation. Jim played football at Rogers under legendary coach John Toppa and was on the track team where he ran sprints as well as tossed the shot put and threw the discus.
Not long after his graduation from high school Jim fulfilled his long time wish to become a member of the Coast Guard where he was a radioman serving on the Coast Guard Buoy Tender Plaintree out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as well as senior radioman at the Coast Guard Radio Washington facility in Alexandria, VA. After ten years of service Jim left the Coast Guard and returned to his hometown of Newport and worked as an on-air radio personality and news presenter on WADK where his signature sign-off at the end of each day’s show was “So-long Sunshine.”
In the late 1970’s Jim moved to the Washington,D.C. area where he began a 35 year career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland retiring in 2013 as a Director of Space Flight Operations. His retirement left him with more time to devote to his lifelong avocation as a ‘ham’ radio operator. The term ‘ham’ radio operator was originally used by professional landline telegraphers to refer to amateur operators who they believed possessed inferior skills. Jim’s radio skills could never be described as inferior to anyone. His speed on a Morse Code keyer especially combined with a ‘paddle’ was unrivaled. Jim communicated on a daily basis with other ham radio operators around the world by voice as well as by code and established many long time international relationships that he meticulously recorded in a large number of log books. Jim never wavered in his unquestioned support of New England professional sports teams especially the Boston Red Socks, the Boston Bruins and the New England Patriots.
It was in June of 1980 that he met the love of his life in Diane M. Klein who became his life partner living in Crofton, Maryland until his death. Jim is survived by Diane Klein, her daughter Diane Novella Grove and her husband Brian and their two sons Cameron and Collin of Knoxville, TN and his brother Robert Elliott and his wife Lisa of Ellicott City, MD. He is preceded in death by both parents.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to The Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, R.I. 02842.