Hon. John J. Elliott, 75, of Fulton, died Sunday, October 8, 2017 at home with family by his side. Born on March 31, 1942 in Peekskill, NY, he was a son to the late Alton W. Elliott, a varsity basketball coach and athletic director, and Carolyn Whitney Elliott, a career teacher. In 1954 at age 12, John was a pitcher for the Kiwanis state championship baseball team from Ogdensburg. He graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy, Ogdensburg, NY in June of 1960. John earned a B.A. in History from Hamilton College in June 1964 and was a four year member of the men’s basketball team. After Hamilton, he attended Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Quebec from 1964 to 1965 where he studied biology and earned first team all-star honors playing on the basketball team.
John traveled the world playing professional basketball for the Washington Generals for two years from 1965 to 1967, matched against the Harlem Globetrotters in venues including an Italian soccer stadium (Stadio Bentegodi), Wembley Field and even a private game for the British Royal Family.
John was a history teacher and varsity men’s basketball coach in Sackets Harbor, NY from 1967 to 1968. He then attended Albany Law School beginning in 1968 and graduating in 1971. John served as an Oswego County Assistant District Attorney from 1974 to 1982 and was the Oswego County District Attorney from 1982 to 1988. John was then the Oswego County Surrogate’s Court Judge from 1988 until 2012 when he retired from the bench at age 70. He also served as an Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court from 1991 until his retirement, presiding over a wide range of cases in Oswego, Onondaga, Oneida, Jefferson and Lewis Counties. He taught Town and Village Justices as a program director for the NYS Office of Court Administration for many years and also lectured and spoke at numerous seminars, conferences and academies. He was a history buff, loved discussing the law, enjoyed golf and was a car enthusiast. He was renowned for his wit and humor among his many friends.
John is survived by his loving family; wife of 42 years, Mary Seymour Elliott of Fulton; children, Maureen of New York City, Lucien (Natalie) of Syracuse and Matthew of New York City; sisters, Elizabeth of Washington D.C. and Louise of Oakland, CA as well as many brothers and sisters-in-law.
Calling hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, October 12 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30 a.m. Friday, October 13 at Holy Trinity Church, corner of Rochester and South Third Streets, Fulton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fulton Historical Society or to Friends of Oswego County Hospice.