George Athan Elliott (Geogios Athanasios Eliopoulos) passed away Saturday, September 2, 2017 at his home in Salinas, California. He was 91.
George was born in Oakland on February 9, 1926 and raised in the Prunedale hills overlooking the Elkhorn Slough with his 3 siblings, Patricia, Sam and Leon. He was a graduate of Salinas High School and attended Hartnell Junior College until he followed his older brother, Leon and joined the service at age 17 during WWII. George spent the war in the Navy in the Pacific supporting troops.
After his discharge from the Navy, he met his love and wife of 69 years when offered a job at Salinas Favorite Market, which he initially turned down. Upon seeing a young beautiful girl working there, he immediately changed his mind and took the job. He married the young girl, Jeanne Marie Wilmoth, in 1948 and the rest is a lifetime of love.
George began his career in produce in 1947 with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. George was a well-respected force in the buying of produce with A&P until he started his second career with Driscoll’s Strawberry Company in 1976. Throughout his career he was known to be smart, intense but honest and fair. He was known as the Greek to many of his contemporaries in the business.
George was an active member of the Elks, Masons, American Legion and very active in the Greek Orthodox Church. His greatest joy was in support of his children in school and school sports. He was one of the original founding members of the North Salinas Boosters Club and President for many years. He would not only go to all the games, but showed up at a lot of the afternoon practices in support of his children and the sports program at North Salinas High. He held a lifetime pass to all North Salinas High sporting events.
After retiring in 1992, he and Jeanne would travel with family and friends to their second home in Lake Almanor that they had built over the winter of 1968, an El Nino winter. In retirement he returned to his love of watching high school sports with his grandchildren at all the local high schools. He was always in the stands as a vocal supporter of all sports, boys and the girls, as he now had granddaughters in sports.
In his later years he and Jeanne maintained a lifetime hobby of growing and caring for their small orchard fending off squirrels and deer for an apple or any number of fruits.
George was a stoic, hardworking and honest example of a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will always be loved and missed by his family and many that knew him.
George is survived by his wife Jeanne Elliott; four sons, Chris (Cindy) Eliopoulos, Paul (Celeste) Elliott, Jim (Melissa) Eliopoulos and Robert Elliott. He has ten grandchildren, Tom (Linda) Eliopoulos, Nick (Suzette) Eliopoulos and Christopher Eliopoulos, Paige (Kacy) Shapton, Mike (Laura) Elliott and Paul Elliott, Melanie (Efrain) Ruiz and Andrew Eliopoulos, Steven Elliott and Gloria (Richard) Chapman; and four great-grandchildren Cade, Gia, and Harlow Shapton, and Aurora Ruiz.
A Rosary (Trisagion) will be held Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 5 p.m. at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA. 93901. A Celebration of George’s life will be held at the home of Robert Elliott at 1052 C San Juan Grade Road, Salinas, CA., 93906 on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
Funeral Arrangements by Struve and Laporte.
Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com