ELLIOT, WILLIAM MARSHALL (1926 ~ 2016). The following is an obituary for former Texas House Member and Judge Bill Elliot. The obituary was provided by George H. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home of Houston.
The Honorable William Marshall Elliott 1926-2016
The Honorable William Marshall Elliott was born on the 19th of January 1926 and passed away on Wednesday, the 3rd of August 2016 at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, Emilie Louise Miller Elliott; children, Elizabeth "Betsy" Elliott, Aimie Elliott Jones and husband Michael, and Michael Philip Elliott and wife Elizabeth. He adored his grandchildren, Kelly, John, Connor, Harrison, Emilie, Sarah Kate, Caroline and William. He was preceded in death by his sons, William Marshall Elliott, Jr., and Mark Andrew Elliott, and also by his parents, Bess and Philip Pugh Elliott.
Judge Bill Elliott was born in Ringgold, Louisiana, and grew up in Shreveport. He spent summers with his maternal grandparents, and had a special gleam in his eye when he told tales from that time of his life. One can only imagine the mischief that occurred. After graduation from Fair Park High School in 1943, Bill enlisted in the Naval Reserve. After an honorable discharge, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and was stationed in Italy. Following his military service, the Judge entered the University of Houston, working days as a journeyman pipefitter, and attending school at night. Bill graduated and decided to continue his education with a law degree. During this time, he met the love of his life, Emilie, on a blind date. The fact that she was not HIS date was beside the point. They married on the 22nd of November 1950, and from that day forward, they met all that life threw at them with grace and poise, matching each other step for step. Bill graduated with the second graduating class from the University of Houston School of Law in 1951. Soon after, he opened his law practice in Baytown, Texas.
Bill was elected to the Texas Legislature in 1952, where he served for six years. In 1958, he was elected Harris County Judge and held that position until 1974. In 1975, he was appointed to the 311th Judicial District Court by Governor Dolph Briscoe, and proudly served in that role until his retirement in 1996.
Bill was lauded for blazing new trails during his career, particularly during his tenure as county judge. His passion for Civil Rights was evident when he hired Barbara Jordan as the first African American female administrator in Harris County. Bill's commitment to mental health established him as the moving force behind the creation of the Harris County Hospital District, now called the Harris Health System. In what is largely regarded as his most renowned accomplishment, Bill was instrumental and influential in the building of the Houston Astrodome -- the Eighth Wonder of the World -- which opened with an animated scoreboard in 1965.
Bill loved hunting, fishing, horseback riding, winning an argument, and the occasional game of golf. Bill was a 33rd degree Mason, and was a member of several other Masonic organizations including the Jesters and the Shriners. Later, he became an active member of the Vaqueros. The relationships he developed within these groups were life-long and rock solid.
Although his life was punctuated by multiple accomplishments, everything paled in comparison to the love Bill had for his family. Whether he was coaching sports teams, taking the family to football games or on road trips, attending dance recitals or sharing a simple meal with them, he made sure they knew how much he cared for and loved each one of them.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 10th of August, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The funeral service is to be conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning on Thursday, the 11th of August, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons.
The interment is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Friday, the 12th of August, at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota Street in Austin.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to the or St. Peter's Church, 705 Williams St. Pasadena, Texas 77506.