AVON PARK, Fla. – Franklin Eugene "Gene" Elliott, 89, of Avon Park, Fla., fell on sleep and was laid unto his Father Thursday morning, Sept. 20, 2012, at Oaks of Avon Nursing Home after a prolonged illness.
He was born March 14, 1923, in Hoopeston, the second of three sons born to Ralph and Myrle Elliott. In 1942 Gene married Bernice Scarlett, who preceded him in death after over 44 years of marriage. Also preceding him in death were his parents, and his brothers, Ralph Elliott Jr. and John Earl Elliott.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Cornett Elliott, whom he married on Oct. 28, 1989. Also surviving are three children from his first marriage, Sue McChesney (Chuck) of Rockton, Dave Elliott (Belva) of Danville and Ed Elliott (Julie) of Paxton; eight grandchildren; and 22 great-great grandchildren.
Gene attended John Greer High School in Hoopeston, graduating in 1941.
He was a World War II veteran, serving from January 1943 through March 1946 in the U.S. Army, where he earned the Victory Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and the Meritorious Unit Award.
His family eventually settled in Danville, where after working for various companies he went into business, owning The Karmelcorn Shop in downtown Danville, specializing in candy, coins and antiques. After living briefly in Florida he returned to Champaign, where he eventually went into business again, owning Elliott's Gold Nugget, specializing in coins and jewelry.
He and Jean retired to Florida in August of 2003, moving to Lake Bonnet Village. He enjoyed walks in the park and playing cards with friends and neighbors, and was a very active member of the community. He was loved and respected by his Lake Bonnet family. Folks would comment how they enjoyed talking with him at the mailboxes while others would comment how much they looked up to him. He donated to many improvements in the park, especially the palm trees in back of his and other neighbors' homes. He was heavy footed on his golf cart as he was with his care. Oh, how he loved to grocery shop!
A memorial service will be held celebrating his life on Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. at the Chapel at Floral Hill Cemetery in Hoopeston, with a graveside service to follow. Hank Anderson, pastor at Central Christian Church in Danville, will officiate. Military rites will be provided by American Legion Post 384. Memorials may be made to the Hoopeston American Legion in Gene's name.