ADRIAN — Elaine L. Elliott, 85, who as a married stay-at-home mother of six went to college and kept going, attaining a doctorate as she became a teacher and counselor, died Tuesday in Bixby Hospital, Adrian.
She died after a brain hemorrhage, her son Greg said. She lived in Lenawee County’s Madison Township.
For years, she was at home as a wife, mother, and homemaker.
“She spent her time raising her six children,” her son said. “She never even went to college until she was in her mid-30s, and she went to college and ended up with a doctorate and was in the education field for the rest of her life.”
At Siena Heights College, she didn’t have many classmates of her age and life experience. She persevered through bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the school. She received a doctorate from the University of Michigan.
“The calling of a mother and an educator is a heady mixture of ego building and service to humankind,” she wrote in her own obituary, which she titled “The autobiography by Dr. Elaine L. Elliott PhD.”
Her son said: “She was motivated to teach and help other people. She was pretty headstrong. She knew what she wanted.”
Mrs. Elliott taught at Blissfield and Madison high schools and at the Maurice Spear Campus, a Lenawee County-operated detention and treatment facility for troubled youth.
She closed her career with the Lenawee Intermediate School District at its vocational center, where she taught and helped develop a guidance and counseling program.
“She knew how to listen and how to get through to people,” her son said. “She could communicate with people pretty well.”
She taught in the graduate division of Siena Heights as an adjunct professor and was a member of its graduate council.
“Dr. Elliott expressed the desire to be remembered by students whose lives she touched during her teaching career,” she wrote in her obituary-autobiography.
She was a licensed professional counselor who made presentations to conferences on counseling and was a consultant to vocational schools and Michigan’s Department of Vocational Education. She also worked on the newsletter of the Michigan Career Development Association. She was honored for her work as a counselor in Lenawee County.
In retirement, she and her husband, Bill, spent winters in Bonita Springs, Fla., and enjoyed stays at their Posey Lake cottage in Michigan.
She made quilts for her grandchildren — some of whom called her “Grandma Garden,” for the flowers she grew.
“She laid the foundation for a family rich in tradition, love, and caring, and served as a role model for her children, grandchildren, and many students,” she wrote in her obituary-autobiography.
“She was somebody you could confide in,” her son said. “She was a pretty good person to have for a mother.”
She was born Jan. 13, 1928, to Clara Jane and Ray Lyons in Spring Arbor, Mich., where she went to high school.
Her husband of 62 years, Lloyd “Bill” Elliott, died in March, 2008. Their son Timothy had died in 2006, “the great sadness of her life,” she wrote.
Surviving are her sons, Michael, William, Terry, and Gregory Elliott, and daughter, Denise King; sisters, Patricia Stewart and Jane Anne Elam; brother, David Lyons; 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today in the Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.
The family suggests tributes to the scholarship fund of the LISD Tech Center, the current name of the vocational center where she taught.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.
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