Don was born on June 6, 1934, to Nancy and Kenneth Elliott in Detroit, MI. He died just two months short of his 89th birthday on April 8, 2023, in Bradenton, FL.
Don graduated from Lincoln High School in Van Dyke, MI, and then joined the U.S. Army. Following his military service, Don attended college on the GI Bill, starting at South Macomb Community College where he met his wife Denise Harrington, and continuing at Wayne State University, where he earned a bachelor's in education (with a focus on government and civics) and a master's in educational administration.
Don taught social studies at Shelby Junior High School in Utica, MI; was promoted to Vice Principal; and then served as Assistant Superintendent for the Utica School District. A staunch advocate of our public school system, Don moved his family to Okemos in 1971 to accept a position with the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA). He started as a lobbyist working with the state legislature to pass laws that support Michigan's children and our public schools and was promoted to Executive Director. During his time with MASA, he served as a faculty member for the Extern Program for School Administrators at Michigan State University. Don joined A.G. Edwards in 1990, where he served as Senior Vice President of Public Finance and advised superintendents and school boards across the state on financing and structuring bond issues.
In recognition of his many years of dedication to public education, Don received the Anthony Wayne Award for Leadership in Education from the College of Education at Wayne State University. He was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, ran for state representative, and served as campaign manager for several campaigns.
Don and Denise moved to Laingsburg in 1990 where they enjoyed entertaining family and friends at their home on Lake Victoria. They also enjoyed many years of retirement on Anna Maria Island in Florida.
Don enjoyed vacations with his family, running, swimming, scuba diving, and reading. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Denise Elliott; sister Jean Kaydos; children Craig (Michelle) Elliott, Linda (Brian) Livezey, Nancy (Steve) Meredith, Beth Elliott; grandchildren Jeremiah Allen, John (Nicole) Allen, Claire Livezey, Katherine Elliott, Kenneth Meredith, Madeline Elliott, Marie Meredith; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members, and friends.
The family is hosting a memorial gathering on Sunday, June 18, 2-5 p.m., at the Bengel Wildlife Center in Bath, MI.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Isidore Church Gardens at 310 Crum Street, Laingsburg, MI 48848, or Tidewell Hospice at TidewellFoundation.org/donate/.
Our deepest condolences to the Elliott family and friends from Kay Waites and staff at Sound Choice Cremation
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Bath, MI, United States 48808