William Bill Elliott, on February 3, 2012, a wonderful human being, passed gracefully at the North Shore Hospice after a hard fought, three-year battle with melanoma. He was 68 years old and is survived by his companion, Stephanie Reid of Concord, MA; his daughter, Julia Elliott of Santa Barbara, California; a sister, Kathleen Elliott Yinug of Hyattsville, Maryland; and a brother, David Elliott of Braintree, MA. He devoted his life to teaching at the secondary school level. Bill grew up in Braintree, graduated from Braintree High School in 1961, Amherst College in 1965 and Fordham University Law School in 1973. His teaching career began directly after graduating from college where he taught biochemistry, chemistry, biology and physics at the Loomis-Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. While there he also coached lacrosse, basketball and club football. Thus began his lifelong love of teaching the sciences, math and coaching various sports. From suburbia he moved to the city life of New York City where he taught and coached at the Friends Seminary from 1968 through 1974. He was the first director of Friends Seminary After-School program where he transferred what he was learning at Fordham to his students. He then returned to Braintree and taught at Thayer Academy until 1986 where he coached varsity basketball, an activity that culminated in 1978 in winning the first New England Championship Class C Division for Thayer Academy. This brought credibility and respect for Thayer Academy basketball. Thayer went on to procure several more New England championships in both basketball and hockey. He was also very proud of his involvement in the metro program where he befriended the scholarship students from the inner city. Throughout his life as an educator |headmaster, teacher, coach, father and friend | he considered education as a lifelong process and sought to incorporate the spirit of cooperation, friendliness and collegiality for one another into his daily activities, both in the school environment and in his community. He believed that the learning and the living environment should be places of enthusiasm and mutual respect. In 1986 Bill moved his family to Encinitas, California where he founded the Success in Learning Center. He taught learning enhancement, learning disability correction, tutoring, college and career counseling. He incorporated these skills at Muir College at the University of California in San Diego and became the head of the upper school and college counselor of the Francis W. Parker School. When he was offered the job as the sixth headmaster of Thayer Academy in 1991 he was very eager to return to Braintree and the school environment that he loved. He remained there until 1995. At Thayer he displayed his strong concern for the personal and moral development of young people and sought to balance the educational value of athletics, arts and extracurricular activities. Upon retirement Bill moved to Monticello, Kentucky in 1995 to pursue his many interests. These included hiking, gardening, horseracing, woodworking and bluegrass music. He returned to Concord, MA in 2002. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends. Bill had requested that donations be made in his memory to The Carpenters Boat Shop, 440 Old Country Road, Pemaquid, Maine 04558. It was there that Bill spent a year in a loving environment learning the skills of boatbuilding and where the Elliott family roots originated. A service in celebration of Bills life and accomplishments will be held on Saturday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at The Holy Family Parish, 12 Monument Square, Concord, MA. A reception will follow to honor Bill at the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 54 Walden St., Concord, MA.
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Published in Braintree Forum from Mar. 24 to Mar. 31, 2012