Harry Lewis Elliott, 89, died Friday, Aug. 9, at Sandstone Heights Nursing Home, in Little River, Kan.
He was born Dec. 30, 1923, in San Francisco, Calif. His parents were George and Stella Metcalf of Petaluma, Calif.
Survivors include: Significant other, Bernie Jean Estes, five sons, Michael James Elliott, San Clemente, Calif., Charles Scott Elliott, Lyons, Kan., Peter Martin Elliott, Helena, Mon., David Brian Elliott, Lakeside, Calif, Matthew Paul Elliott, Sterling, Kan., one daughter, Margaret Ann Elliott, Everett, Wash., eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by one son, Frank Joseph Elliott, and former wife, Mary Louise Elliott.
He was a professional piano player from age 15 throughout his life, playing in the “Big Band” era and continuing to play that genre of music through the mid 1990s.
He was also a standout athlete. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1942 where he lettered two years each in football, basketball and baseball and earned All-Conference and All-District honors.
He then attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned three varsity letters in both football and baseball. He was the first Gopher to earn first-team Big Ten honors in the sport of baseball in 1949. After college, he taught in Austin for a short time and then signed a professional baseball contract with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. The St. Louis Cardinals purchased his contract in 1953. He played for the Cardinals in 1953 and again in 1955, appearing in 68 games that season. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in March of 1956. He retired in 1958 after appearing in 854 games with 1,034 hits and a lifetime batting average of .325.
He married Mary Louise Field in 1950 and raised seven children in El Cajon, Calif. He taught physical education and coached baseball, football, basketball and soccer throughout this career of 27 years at El Cajon Valley High School.
He spent 30 years of retirement based in Yuma, Ariz., and traveling in his motor home to see family and friends. His final days were spent in Lyons, Kan., with his family at his side.