Dr. Donald A. Elliott
June 9, 1935 – June 6, 2021
Dr. Donald Allison Elliott passed away from this world on Sunday, the 6th of June 2021, in Houston, three days shy of his 86th birthday.
Dr. Elliott was born in Lubbock, Texas, on the 9th of June 1935. He was raised by his mother Elois and grandmother Emma who taught him to believe strongly in his ability to navigate the world and to be able to overcome any obstacle. He was a model son, husband, father, grandfather, friend and community member.
He obtained his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and went on to Baylor Medical school in Houston for his MD and then to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore MD for his residency where he became a pediatrician. He also served as a Research associate at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and in the U.S. Public Health Service.
He continued on his lifelong learning path by obtaining his PhD from Rockefeller University in New York City, researching among other things, magnesium, hormones and cellular processes in the human body and serving as Assistant/Adjunct Associate Professor there. He served as President of the Board of Health in Englewood, New Jersey and then moved on to the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange (SSIE) in Washington, DC to be Senior VP and Director of the Division of Scientific Affairs and of CCRESPAC, where he managed information on all aspects of cancer research in progress in the United States and abroad which resulted in improved diagnosis, treatment and a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms in the cancer process.
At the end of his tenure at SSIE, Dr. Elliott further developed and paired his love of innovation and information with his extensive medical training to start his own consulting firm where he explored cutting edge knowledge in research, medicine and technology. He partnered with research scientists in the Washington, D.C. area to develop patents on some of the earliest realtime blood testing technologies utilizing sensor cartridges and on cell mediated immunity processes and related vaccines.
Dr. Elliott, a true renaissance man, had many interests in life. Being an Eagle Scout himself, he became a Scoutmaster of Troop 240 in Bethesda, MD where he enjoyed teaching kids and helping them develop self-reliance and problem solving skills. He also enjoyed classical music, art, a good pun, antique maps, thought provoking films, coins, books and discussions on anything scientific from the cellular level to quantum physics. He was passionate about knowledge and learning from history to create better futures. He loved to travel and was interested in different cultures.
In the last decade of his life he had been an active member of the Buckingham retirement community in Houston where he enjoyed poetry groups, singing in the choir, teaching tai chi to residents, serving on the nutrition committee, taking art classes, bible study and providing a cheerful encouraging word and support, medical and otherwise to everyone who needed it. He developed many close and meaningful friendships with residents and staff alike at the Buckingham including with the Dream Care team who provided loving service to him in his last years.
In his family life he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His beloved wife June R. Elliott, who predeceased him in November of 2009, was his sweetheart since the day they met. He was also greatly invested in, proud of and passionate about the happiness and growth of his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his daughters, Eugenia Elliott and her partner Steve Grant of Evanston, Illinois, Alicia Elliott and her two sons, Benjamin and Theodore Ragan of Olympia, Washington, and by his son, Douglas Elliott and his wife Electra and their two sons, Nicholas and Alexander Elliott of Houston, Texas.
Those who met Donald Elliott would often remark on how they were not only helped by him but also on his optimism, kindness and genuine nature. He had the unique ability to speak with great respect to anyone of any description and to make those who met him feel important. He always saw the best in people and wasn’t daunted by what others might call a difficulty or a hardship. He was a wonderful example of a human being who was committed to improving people's lives in any way he could.
Embody and honor the spirit of Donald Elliott by helping someone who needs it with a kind word or deed, remembering that there are no problems only solutions. Enjoy a bit of poetry, a beautiful piece of music, a lovely work of art, and most of all believe that even in the most challenging times, there is always room for hope, optimism and a smile.
Friends are cordially invited to gather with the family and share remembrances of Dr. Elliott during a reception to be held from twelve noon until three o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 16th of July in the grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in Dr. Elliott’s name may be directed to Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL, 33131.
- Parkinson's Foundation
Gathering of Family and Friends
Friday, July 16, 2021
Dr. Donald A. Elliott
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June 21, 2021
My wife, Gay, and I were fortunate to have known Don and June (Gay’s aunt) and their children. Early in our marriage, we stayed at their home in Bethesda — a home full of love and humor.
Don Elliott served as a role model for me and many others. He was interested in diverse areas of medicine and always inquired about what I was doing as a hematologist. He had an incredible intellect and an even more impressive heart —full of kindness and attentive to everyone fortunate to meet him.
Don was a man for all seasons. He was inquisitive about the latest developments in science, displayed a keen appreciation of history, liked travel and the outdoors, and expressed joy in meeting people from all walks of life.
I can only imagine the loss that Eugenia, Alicia, and Doug and their families feel at this time. They had wonderful parents who loved them deeply. Don made the world a better place and will be missed dearly.
June 20, 2021
Don and I were Residents at the Harriet Lane Home, the Children's unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We shared an interest in magnesium metabolism and nutrition. I was faculty at Baylor Med. and Texac Children'sHopsital fron 1964 to 2009. I was at the Children's Nutrition Research Center from 1978 to 2009 . I am now living at Brazos Towers at Bayou Manor and would have been delightes to meet with Don had I known that he was at the Buckingham also in Houston .Dan and I were both influenced by Prof. Donald Cheek at the Harriet Lane Home and he would have enjoyed inspecting a collection of oil paintings by our mentor in clinical investigation.
June 20, 2021
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June 16, 2021
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Dr. Elliott in person but certainly got to know him closely through his loving and caring daughter Eugenia. She spoke his passion for learning, love of music and the arts, mostly of his devotion to making this world a better place. Eugenia is the apple that never left the branch, and thus Mr. Elliott lives forever though her.
R.I.P., dear Mr. Elliott and know, for sure, that your legacy lives on!
Rob, Susan, and Roman Newhouse
June 16, 2021
What an amazing, full life! All our sympathy and love to the Elliott family.
June 15, 2021
Eugenia & family, we are keeping you close in our thoughts and hearts during this time of remembering your wonderful father.
Lots of love,
Kathy Greenholdt & Paul Coady