Maurice Elliott: Family pays tribute to former chairman of Bishop's Stortford construction firm JA Elliott Ltd
A former chairman of Bishop's Stortford construction giant JA Elliott Ltd has died a month short of his 90th birthday.
Maurice Elliott, who had four daughters and three sons, died peacefully with his family by his side on January 26.
He leaves his devoted wife, Janet, and their children Sue, who lives in Sewards End; Mark, of Welwyn; Jonny, now resident in Perth, Australia; Graham and Amy, who both live in Beccles; Marcia, who is in Scotland; and Diane in Epping. The couple also had 21 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Maurice, who spent the last three years of his life at All Hallows Care Home in Bungay, Suffolk, was the first son of Jock and Nell Elliott.
He was born in Mitcham, Surrey, on February 21, 1932, and the family moved to Stortford when he was six months old.
Brother Chris arrived six years later. The siblings attended St Michael's CofE Primary School and Bishop's Stortford College.
Son Mark said: "Jock went on to establish JA Elliott Ltd in 1946, which grew to become one of the largest construction companies in the South East. It was also an important part of the town and one of its largest employers."
Following training at quantity surveyors Cross and Hall in London, Maurice joined the family business, becoming managing director when Jock retired and subsequently holding the position of chairman.
He retired from the company in 1984 at the age of 52 and went on to establish Stort Enterprise Trust and later The Threshold Trust, two charities that provided opportunities for young people in East Anglia with mental health issues.
He was also chairman of Old Stortfordians Rugby Football Club and president of Stansted Football Club.
In 1989, Maurice and Janet moved to Barsham, near Beccles in Suffolk. They bought the Old Rectory next to Holy Trinity Church and carried out extensive alterations and improvements.
Mark said: "Sadly, the Elliott group of companies fell victim to the property and construction recession of the late 80s/early 90s and the group was put into liquidation in February 1991.
"Maurice and Janet had to leave the Old Rectory and bought the derelict former hall close to the River Waveney which had been used to house cattle in its later years. They soon set about refurbishing the property to create two large houses."
The quality of the refurbishment was recognised with a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Heritage Award, and son Graham and his wife Nicky moved in next door.
Mark said: "As well as his extensive family, Maurice's interests included classical music, bridge, architecture, history of art and, most of all, nature, particularly birdwatching. He regularly assisted the British Trust for Ornithology bird counts and in earlier years he helped with duck counting at Abberton Reservoir in Essex."
A service of remembrance will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Barsham, on Monday, February 14, at noon.
There is a tribute page for condolences and donations can be made to support the Alzheimer's Society at mauriceelliott.muchloved.com.