Earl Edward Elliott – Obituary

By  | December 7, 2017 | Filed under: Obituaries

Earl Edward Elliott, 99, of Decatur passed away Sunday, December 3rd , 2017.

Visitation will be today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the funeral at 1 p.m. Interment to follow at Mt. Garner Cemetery in Decherd, Tennessee with military honors.

He was born February 14, 1918 in Coffee County, Tennessee, to the late Grady Brixey and Katie Strawn Elliott. He was raised in the Duncantown community of Estill Springs and graduated from Franklin County High School in Decherd, Tennessee.

He was a graduate of Tennessee State Teachers College (Middle Tennessee State University). In January 1942 he enlisted in the Navy’s V7 officer training program. He received his naval indoctrination at the University of Notre Dame, and was appointed a Midshipman in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He attended the Midshipman School at Northwestern University and upon completion was appointed an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

He was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Unit at Key West, Florida. After receiving training in various aspects of antisubmarine warfare, he was appointed officer in charge of YP536. The ship was assigned to patrol the main convoy routes and escort convoys.

To learn new techniques in antisubmarine warfare he was sent to the Subchaser Training Center unit at Quonset Point, Rhode Island for duty. Here he was appointed Navy Lieutenant and Commanding Officer of SC1468.

In addition to patrol and escort duty, the ship’s officers worked side by side with the Antisubmarine Warfare Research Group developing and testing new weapons, devices, and equipment to detect and destroy German submarines. To further hunt down submarines he was appointed commanding officer of USS PCS1419, and remained in command until he was released to inactive duty in April 1946.

After the war he entered the University of Tennessee Graduate School. He received his Master’s degree in Agronomy and Soil Science and then returned to Franklin County, Tennessee to assist in the operation of the family farm, to teach veterans agriculture, and to start the Franklin County Farmer’s Cooperative. In May 1949 he was employed by TVA as a cooperative analyst to advise farmer groups and Farmers Cooperatives seeking help on the organization, financing, and operation of Farmers Cooperatives.

In 1950, he married the love of his life, Alene Bennett and they moved to Knoxville. They remained married for 62 years until her passing.

In 1952 he was appointed agronomist for all the counties of the Tennessee Valley to work with farm agencies and distributors of TVA fertilizers, to promote the establishment of fall seeded crops, and to teach farmers new and better soil erosion management practices.

In 1955 he was appointed to head the fertilizer introduction and marketing section. He was subsequently appointed Chief of the Fertilizer Distribution Branch for TVA. During this time, he and Alene moved to Florence, Alabama so that he could begin work with TVA’s National Fertilizer Development Center in Muscle Shoals. At the NFDC, he joined fertilizer testing and demonstration together to create a new branch. He was appointed Chief of the new Test and Demonstration Branch and remained in that position until he retired in 1982.

In 1987, Earl and Alene made their home in Decatur, Alabama, where they worshipped at Central United Methodist Church. In retirement he was a voracious reader and a tireless worker in the garden and around the house. As his wife’s health declined over the years, he was tirelessly devoted to Alene’s care and welfare.

Earl had remarkable memory for names and events related to growing up on the farm during the Great Depression, his education, his service in WWII, and his time with TVA. Many came to visit for help with genealogies and family histories.

He believed strongly in the value of education and helped provide for the college education of several of his siblings. Seven of the ten children of Grady and Katie Elliott (Earl’s parents) were college graduates.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Grady and Katie Elliott; brothers, Verl, J.W., Raymond, Ernest, and Roy; sisters Vicie Elliott Weaver and Willa Dene Elliott. He is survived by one brother, Lloyd, and a sister, Irene Kilby. He is survived by his son Dr. Charles E. Elliott and his wife Sherry, of Decatur; granddaughter Lindsay Elaine Elliott of Decatur; and grandson Charles Bennett Elliott, and his wife Cara of Decatur. He is also survived by two great-grand daughters, Elizabeth Blake Elliott, and Charlotte Elaine Elliott of Decatur.

The family is extremely grateful for the care provided by Riverside Assisted Living and Decatur Home Care, Inc.

Online condolences may be shared at www.watsonnorth.com.

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