A memorial celebration of life and reception was held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the New Hope Nazarene Church, in Fairfield, CA. Pastor Guy Rimestad of Bakersfield, CA., a long-time friend of the family, officiated..
Born Earl Laverne Elliott on August 14, 1929 in Sharon Springs, Kansas, he received the nickname Sharky as an infant and it stuck throughout his 78 years. Sharky moved to California in 1934 with his father, Ray Elliott, and his old brothers, Lester and Kenneth Duane. After working farms in various northern California communities, the family settled in the Tolenas area of Fairfield.
Sharky worked a variety of jobs including automotive repair, welding,
ranching and farming while attending school. He married his sweetheart,
Betty Sue Gayler, during her senior year at Armijo High School in 1950.
Sharky was 20, she was 17. One year later, Betty gave birth to twins,
the first two of four children born to them during their 57 year long
After a series of moves in and out of California,
the family settled in Fairfield in 1961. In 1968, Sharky took a job
with Chevron Chemical in Benicia as a warehouseman. During his years
working as a Teamster, he earned a reputation as "the hardest working
man I have ever known," often outworking men half his age. Later, in
1979, Sharky took a position at the newly established Lucky Foods
Distribution Center located in Vacaville. He worked at Lucky as a
member of Teamsters Local 490 until he retired in 1988 at the age of
Never one to rest, the newly retired 58-year-old went
to work on building his long imagined retirement home on six pine
covered acres in Trinity County. The passive solar design, built with
the help of his son Kevin works splendidly to this day, requiring only
a moderate amount of supplemental heating from a wood fired stove in
the coldest of mountain winters.
During the couple’s years
on the Trinity property, Sharky enjoyed building, operating his own
equipment and reading. He worked hard and played hard, hosting many a
family gathering on the land most everyone simply called "the place."
Kevin Elliott, Sharky’s second born son, along with his wife Debbie and
their two daughters, also lived on the property in a manufactured home
with the parents, while the father and son built the home Sharky had
researched and designed for more than a decade. In 1991, Kevin was
diagnosed with liver disease, which eventually took his life in 1996,
Sharky ever at his side.
In 1997, Betty suffered a major
heart attack and Sharky gave up his dream home in favor of having
better access to health care for Betty. After a four year return to
Solano County, Sharky and Betty relocated to Shady Cove, Oregon in
2003. Shortly after relocating to Shady Cove, Sharky suffered a major
strike in February of 2004. Always very strong physically, Sharky
recovered most of his physical abilities within weeks. It was learned
later that the lasting effects of the stroke would be the onset of
dementia which progressed until his passing at a Medford area hospital
on Saturday, October 27.
Sharky was preceded in death by
Doris June Elliott, his infant sister, his parents, Ray Elliott and
Lola Shull, as well as his son, Kevin Elliott. He is survived by his
wife, Betty Sue Elliott of Shady Cove; two sons, Larry Elliott of
Virginia Beach and Wade Elliott of Orland, CA.; a daughter, Kathy Linn
of Shady Cove; four siblings, Lester Elliott of AZ., Kenneth Elliott of
TX., Darlene Mattioda of CA and Richard Elliott of WA; grandchildren
include Kyle Linn of Anchorage, AK, Sarah Jackson of Auburn, WA, Joseph
and Reuben Elliott of Vacaville, CA, Thomas Elliott of Severen, MD,
Autumn McGlynn of Douglas City, CA., Keri Janovsky of Highland, IN.,
Aaron and James Elliott of Orland, CA. Sharky also left behind 12
great-grandchildren and scores of nieces, nephews and cousins.
lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks friends and family to
send along favorite photos and other memories by mail or email to the
family. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made
in memory of Sharky to your church or favorite charity.