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Remembering A Brother, A Husband And A Friend vBy Randy Tramp A former Yankton family is thinking back on their time here a bit more somberly these days. John and Doris Elliot along with their five children — Cheryl, Sharon, JD, Sandra, and Stephen — lived in Yankton during the 1960s and ‘70s, having moved from New Jersey. However, Lt. Commander JD Elliot, United States Navy (retired), who resided in Denton Texas, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 22, 2018, following a courageous battle with cancer. While in Yankton, John Elliot took J.D. fishing at the river when he was about 5 or 6. As the family recalls, J.D caught a huge catfish and wouldn’t let his dad throw it back. J.D. also wouldn’t let him clean it for eating. They brought it home, and it lived in the tub for several days. His mom threw a fit, and made them get rid of it … after all with five dirty kids, one needed a bathtub. So back to the river it went. It was just one of the memories the surviving family members have of their Yankton days. The Elliot kids loved riding their bikes to the lake and back. (When Chalkstone Hill was a curvy road, unlike the straight highway it’s today.) At times, they’d stop at Charlie’s Pizza. J.D. was obsessed for a while in setting the high scores on Charlie’s Pizza’s pinball machines. “I rarely had money to play, but he would pitch me a quarter once in a while. Oh. I loved the smell of Charlie’s Pizza,” Stephen said. There were also artistic pursuits, As a boy, J.D. acted in “The Witch, the Lion and the Wardrobe” at Mount Marty College. In the summer of 1979, J.D. was near Gavins Point Dam when a tornado struck. He weathered it out in his vehicle, then drove to Yankton. The twister tore through the northern part of Yankton, taking the roof off the former Save U More building, tearing down the Drive Inn Theater’s screen, and damaging the Champlain Truck Stop, where Hy-Vee now stands. J.D. graduated from Yankton High School in 1979. Before enlisting in the Navy in October 1979, he worked as a manager at McDonalds. In 1983, J.D. while in Pascagoula, Mississippi, worked with several of his USS Yorktown buddies refurbishing a shrimp boat. It’s now a museum on the water in Pascagoula. In 1984, J.D. met and married Penni. He served as a Sonar Technician aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Towers (DDG-9), as a “plank owner” aboard the USS Yorktown (CG48) (1983-1986), and as a Master Sonar Technician Instructor with the Fleet Anti-Surface Warfare Training Center Pacific Command. J.D. aspired to the rank of Chief Petty Officer before being selected for the Naval Enlisted Commissioning Program in April 1988. In 1986, JD, his wife Penni, and their son, Justin, moved to San Diego. There J.D. was an instructor. He went to the National University from February 1986 to July 1987, graduating with an associate’s degree of science with honors. He made Navy Chief in 1987 and, about four months later, learned that he made the ECP program. In 1988, with a 3-year-old and 3-month-old twins, J.D. and Penni moved from San Diego to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where J.D. went to school for two years full time, graduating from the University of Albuquerque in 1990 at the top of his class with a degree in economics. He was sub-sequentially commissioned a Naval Officer in May 1990 and designated a Naval Flight Officer in August 1991. His Naval Officer tours included Patrol Squadron FORTY (VP-40) as both a Junior Officer and again as a Department Head; Commander Patrol Wing TEN (COMPATWING-10); Maritime Patrol Mobile Operational Command Center Western Pacific (MOCC WESTPAC); and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron ONE (VX-1). J.D. aspired to the vELLIOT continued on page 4 HISVOICEvJULY/AUGUST 2018v3

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