Richard V. Elliott of Morrisville died on February 9, 2014. Born September 27, 1934 at Yonkers, NY, he was the second son of Eileen Louise Higgins Elliott and George F. Elliott. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, George, Jr., and is survived by his wife Linda, daughter June Louise Elliott, sister Maureen and her husband Perry Russo of Dade City, Florida, nephews Gregory Russo and Eric Russo of New Fairfield, and Manchester, CT, respectively, and Mark M. Elliott of White Plains, NY, and many great nieces and nephews.
Richard graduated from Gorton High School in Yonkers, earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and a master’s degree from the New School University. Following active duty in the U.S. Navy based at Little Creek, Virginia, he joined the American Merchant Marine Institute and later The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as editor of Via Port of New York, its trade promotion magazine.
In 1970, his first book, Last of the Steamboats, The Saga of the Wilson Line, was published and became the first steamboat history ever the best seller in any state. Other maritime history pursuits included founding the Westchester (NY) chapter of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He served as “High Seas” editor of its journal, Steamboat Bill, and as its first public relations director and vice president of the middle-Atlantic region. For his maritime pursuits and civic efforts, he was listed in Who’s Who in the East, Contemporary Authors, and Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans. Before he died, Richard completed a two-volume manuscript of the history of New York Harbor day passenger steamboats of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Richard designed and developed the world’s largest airport patron information system for the Port Authority, organized its employee communication unit, and earned first place for the best in-house employee newspaper among hundreds of competing corporations’ publications, and organized a major reform of corporate employee communication practices. While editor of the annual report, the agency won Financial World’s silver and bronze awards for excellence in national competition among corporate submissions.
Among Richard’s civic pursuits was cofounding Citizens United for Englewood, and serving on the Demarest, NJ Board of Education from 1988 to 1991. After retiring in 1995, he and his family moved to Cary, NC, before settling in Morrisville, where he organized its first town-wide civic association, the Better Morrisville Association. He was subsequently listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southeast.
Following cremation, a Mass of Christian burial will be held at 3 p.m. on Feb. 20th at St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Cary. Family will greet mourners before the service from 2:00 to 2:45. Burial will follow at the Tappan Reformed Church cemetery in Tappan, NY in the spring. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Mariners’ Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606 or a charity of your choice.