Roger H. Elliott
Roger H. Elliott passed away on Aug. 1, 2017 at the age of 86 after a lengthy struggle with brain tumors. He is survived by his daughter Diane (Kalispell), son Roger (Rose) of Columbia Falls, son Wayne (Suzanne) of Kalispell, and daughter Beth (Mark) Parrish of Sparks, Nevada.
Roger was born May 11, 1931 in Seattle, Washington. He was raised in that city by an independent mother whom he considered one of his guardian angels. He graduated from West Seattle High School and the University of Washington. He loved the college and professional teams from that city and often had battles within the family whenever the Huskies or Seahawks would play.
An accounting position with Foley Brothers Construction which built the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company brought him out to Montana directly after college. He became involved with the local Lions Club and met his wife while “working on the books” at the DeWit home.
He married Grace DeWit on April 17, 1959. Four children were born between 1960 and 1965. Family trips and experiences from the Bicentennial on the East Coast, to fishing trips on the far western tip of Washington, to backpacking trips in the Bob Marshall are etched in our memories. He was active in civic and fraternal organizations such as the Lions, Jaycees, Masons, the Shriners, and Coast Guard Auxiliary. He supported the community and was mayor of Columbia Falls from 1967 to 1971. While mayor he worked to establish the sewer system and was involved in establishing the current county landfill. During the winter, he helped institute, and at times drove, a ski bus which left the junior high parking lot on Saturday mornings, filled with skis and children for a day of skiing on Big Mountain. He served as a state senator from 1981-1984.
He sold his accounting practice in June of 1980 and then the adventures began. They bought Elena, a Grand Banks trawler, in 1984 and motored up and down the coast from Washington to Alaska. He loved fishing, the scenery and being back on the ocean. After that, Grace “requested” land travel so a motor home was the next mode of transportation from 1992-2008. They traversed Canada and the United States and found a second home at Happy Trails Resort in Surprise, Arizona. He rekindled a family connection with Bob and Linda Wingo and his Aunt Mary who live in Phoenix. TENNIS, bridge, TENNIS, water volleyball and TENNIS filled his days. He also served on the Board of Directors for the resort. He was a caring and compassionate caregiver for Grace and continued to be a snowbird after her death in 2007.
While he was accurate to the penny in financial matters, he could also fix anything that might need repair, from completely restoring his 1954 Kaiser-Frazer Manhattan to fixing a leaky roof on one of his many rental properties. Much better to repair than buy new! All of his projects and investments were preceded by hours, days, weeks, months and even years of research and preparation.
In May of 2015 he was diagnosed with glioma blastoma. Chemotherapy and radiation did not slow him down. He played tennis until October of 2016 and even hit a few at the Summit between his radiation treatments in January.
He loved his grandchildren, Stephanie and Sam Elliott, Briana and Elliott Parrish, and Melissa Dodge. He fully supported their education and loved attending games they competed in and hearing about their interests and plans for the future.
The family wishes to thank the many doctors, nurses and technicians for their excellent care and attention. Hospice with Home Options provided wonderful support during the last few months.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Geneva Johnson, wife Grace Elliott, sister-in-law Marjorie Lindsey, grandson Ron Dodge, and great-granddaughter Halia Mandaguit. A memorial service will be held Friday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Columbia Falls Methodist Church with a reception and celebration of life to follow.