In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Jon Elliott — 1955-2015

The DMAA Board is sorry to announce the death of Jon Elliot ’77. DMAA Vice President (and President Emeritus) Tom Bulleit ’79 offers the following tribute:

“It is with great sadness that I report the death of one of our best, brightest, and most beloved. Jon Elliot ’77 passed away in his sleep at his home in Connecticut on Monday morning, February 23, 2015.

Jon was the model from which they made the Teddy Bear. A very large man even in his college days, he was as lovable as the plushest stuffed bear, and as kind, generous and thoughtful as anyone I have ever known. He joined da doox as a junior in my freshman year. Though he had a beautiful lyric baritone voice, he abjured putting his name up for the Whiffenpoofs in order to spend two full years as a Duke’s Man. He was also sharp as a tack and wickedly efficient. He served as the manager of a successful tour during his senior, my sophomore year, taking us to several southern locations to the wonderment and delight of this undergraduate. His quiet but quick sense of humor and calm manner were always a force for drawing the group together in difficult times.

After graduation he was offered a position as a buyer at one of the major New York department store chains, but chose instead to attend the University of Michigan law school, where he was a founder of the Headnotes, the law school’s first a cappella group. At Michigan he developed his twin interests in family law and litigation, participating in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic. Returning to Connecticut post-graduation in 1980, he joined the Stamford-based corporate firm of Cummings & Lockwood, where he practiced litigation for several years. Early in his career, he served on the state’s Task Force for Foster Children (charged with making recommendations about reforms to Connecticut’s child abuse and neglect laws) and the Connecticut Bar Association’s Juvenile Justice Committee and Committee Regarding the Representation of Children in Family Matters. Eventually, he moved to smaller law firms where he could also more easily pursue his interest in family law, finishing his career as a partner at Zeldes, Needle & Cooper in Bridgeport, CT.

Jon was an active supporter of the Duke’s Men Alumni Association from its inception, arranging for his firm, on a pro bono basis to create the DMAA and arrange its incorporation as a Connecticut nonprofit. He attended our 60th reunion in the Fall of 2013, and sang the key solo in the Silver group’s balladic rendition of Proud Mary. More recently he had been assisting the undergraduate Duke’s Men in their effort to incorporate.

He leaves behind him his loving wife of 29 years, Cheryl, and two adult children, Shana (26) and Jessica (almost 23).

The funeral will be at 11 AM on Thursday, February 26th at Green’s Funeral Home, 88 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT.

The family will sit shiva that evening beginning at 7 PM at their home: 22 Historic Drive, Monroe, CT.

I will miss him tremendously.”

-Tom Bulleit ’79