(1921 – 2011)
John Elliott was a quiet, unassuming person. But don’t let that fool you. Look closer and you discover a man whose life and career were rich in accomplishment.
You could say John had a successful career with the Extension Service. And that would be true. In those days, when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring ignited nationwide concern over pesticide contamination, Extension brought John to Auburn to lead statewide pesticide education programs for farmers and homeowners. He had joined the organization in 1953 as an assistant county agent in Talladega, then in 1961 moved to Fayette, performing rural development and district program duties.
John was on active duty with the Navy from October 1943 through May 1946 before earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in agriculture at Auburn.
When the extension administration promoted him to the pesticide position on the AU campus, he was to remain in his beloved Auburn for the rest of his life. He retired from Extension in 1980 and died on January 27, 2011. He was 89.
You could say John was a family man. That would be true, too. He and the former Hazel Odom of Walker County were married for 63 years. Two sons, Joe, now in Birmingham, and Oreg, of Auburn, formed a strong family unit. Granddaughter Seleste Crawford of Tuscaloosa was an adored welcome to the Elliott family.
You could truthfully say he had a strong faith in God. John served as a deacon in Churches of Christ in Talladega, Fayette, and Auburn. He served as an Elder for 25 years.
He made time for community service, serving two terms as chairman of the Auburn Beautification Council. He also served two terms as president of the Lee County chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.
John had a wry sense of humor that endeared him to friends and coworkers. He smiled often and he brought cheer to those who knew him. To recognize the life and contributions of John Elliott. Jr., his name is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 556