Rogers Elliott Obituary (2021) – Lebanon, NH

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Rogers Elliott

Lebanon, NH – Rogers Elliott, of Lebanon, NH, died at the University of Vermont Medical Center on December 7, 2021 while visiting a friend in Essex Junction, VT. He was 90 years old. Rog was born on May 7, 1931 in New London, CT, to Rogers and Marian “Ted” (Blewer) Elliott. His father was Navy Commander on the USS Wasp and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Rog (known to his family as “Mister”) moved to the east coast to be near his father’s various ports of call, but had his best memories of New London, which he considered his childhood home. He stayed in first grade for a year because he couldn’t read, but then skipped two grades the following year – a premonition for him as a “late bloomer” and gifted intellectual. Despite his protests, his mother insisted that he make better use of his talent by attending preparatory high school and sent him to Peddie School in New Jersey, where he was a fellow. He thrived there despite his casualness (and bad table manners) and graduated in 1948 as the best of his year.

While considering future colleges, he narrowed his choices to Yale and Brown, but said that there really is no choice since Brown has women and Yale doesn’t. He studied history, was the editor of the school newspaper and joined a fraternity – because it was the only place on campus where people drank alcohol and danced. He contemplated entering law school that would bring him to Columbia in his junior year, but the prospect of climbing the partner ladder and getting away from family life was daunting. He stayed with Brown and graduated from “Best Student” in 1952. With no clear career goal, Rog accepted his mother’s graduation gift, a one-way ticket for the Yankee Clipper to Honolulu, where she lived. There he looked for a tip from an alum colleague Asoong Len, a local from Honolulu and an acquaintance from Pembroke in the same senior year. This began a long-distance advertising that culminated in their marriage in Brooklyn Heights in 1956.

From 1953 to 1956 he enrolled in the US Navy Officer Candidate School and became a Frogman for the Underwater Demolition Team. He was never posted to Korea, but spent many long nights training in the cold waters off the coasts of San Diego and Japan. After being released from active service and shortly before marriage, he decided to study clinical psychology and fought his way to a Ph.D. Program at the University of Illinois. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1962 and graduated from Dustbowl Empiricism and settled in Norwich, VT for the next 48 years. He received the rank of Full Professor in 1971 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2014. He never lost his interest in law, and by the age of 50 he entered law school and received his JD degree from Stanford University in 1982 Rog was a competent administrator in his various chair positions in Psychology, Education, and Liberal Studies at Dartmouth, but his true love was teaching eloquently truths gathered by the scientific method he valued as a priority in the pursuit Knowledge. Rog had no room in his heart or mind for charlatanism or opinions as facts.

He had died of his parents, his wife, his sister Barbara “Sparky” Hopkins, his niece Katherine Joachim and his nephew John Hopkins. He leaves behind his sons Matthew (Cynthia Brown) and Joshua (Kathleen Cavanaugh Elliott); his grandsons Sophie Elliott and Christopher Elliott; a niece (Annie Campbell) and a nephew (Charles Hopkins); and a large expanded Elliott clan.

Rog was sociable and extroverted in many ways, though one of his mentors in Illinois aptly referred to him as an introverted intellectual. He was a polymath who could converse with anyone on almost any subject, if they were inclined to have a moderate conversation. He was fair, ethical, diplomatic, and would have made an excellent minister without his views on theism. Most of all, Rog believed in the collective strength of family and friends, and knew the importance of maintaining those bonds. By writing letters, hosting parties, visiting and reunions, he went out of his way, often with Soong by his side, to maintain connections with others.

His death takes away a wonderful father, grandfather, friend, educator, mentor, and spirit. Few were able to achieve its ability to gather and synthesize information and moreover articulate its thoughts and feelings to each of its listeners. He had wisdom and he had wit. Rog also had a penchant for prose and poetry, and could quote the thoughts of great thinkers and poets from memory alone. Here we leave you a quote of your own, an as-yet-unpublished ending to his most recent autobiography:

“There is a phrase Sir Ernest Gowers used to describe the great lexicographer HW Fowler, author of the classic A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, and a man of Spartan simplicity: ‘He knew what he wanted in life; his reach, he took it and was satisfied. ‘ This quote can serve as an epigraph, epilogue, or epitaph in a number of ways. I would say that anyone who is true any of the three parts of this sentence is happy. To me, all three are largely true, and I’ll be fine with that. It was a good life. ”

A memorial service for Rog will take place at a later date.

Instead of flowers, donations can be made to lists in Lebanon, NH on Rog’s behalf:

https://www.listencs.org/make-a-donation-now

Published by Valley News on December 26, 2021.


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