John Murray Elliot, of 301 Wyckoff Avenue, Ithaca, NY, Professor of Animal Science Emeritus at Cornell University, died Tuesday, November 26, 2019, in Ithaca. He was born November 6, 1927, in Howick, Quebec, a son of the late William Wallace Elliot and Christena May Lang.
Following his graduation from McGill University, he studied for a Master’s degree at the University of Vermont, where he met his wife, Jane Preston. They were married in Burlington, Vermont in 1951. From 1950 to 1960 he was a member of the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In 1956 he was selected as a Danforth Teacher and took a leave of absence to complete his graduate work at Cornell, receiving his Ph.D. in animal nutrition with minors in animal physiology and biochemistry in 1958.
In 1960 he was invited to join the faculty at Cornell, with the understanding that his primary responsibility would be that of teaching an introductory course in animal science and that he would have the opportunity to engage in research of his choice. For some 20 years, he enjoyed this stimulating combination of responsibilities, often commenting that he had the best position in the world. He was awarded national recognition for outstanding teaching by the American Dairy Science Association. His research was focused primarily on vitamin B12 production and glucose and propionate metabolism in the ruminant. From 1983 until his retirement in 1991, he served as department chairman. He was recognized for “distinguished administration” by Gamma Sigma Delta and was named a Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association.
Dr. Elliot was a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Animal Science, the American Institute of Nutrition, and the American Dairy Science Association, where at one time he served as president of the Eastern Division, and later, nationally, as chairman of the Production Division. He was elected to Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Sigma Delta, Alpha Zeta and AGFU, and was a member of City Club of Ithaca, the First Congregational Church and, some years ago, the Cayuga Heights Volunteer Fire Company.
In retirement, Murray took up golf for the first time and for more than 20 years enjoyed the camaraderie of his golfing buddies, who often were among the first in the morning to arrive at the Cornell golf course. They usually played the back nine. He continued his interest in golf during February and March in Florida, where he had cultivated golfing friends from many parts of the country. Another particularly important retirement activity was City Club of Ithaca, where he served successively as scribe, vice-president and president and derived great pleasure out of his interactions with friends at the weekly meetings.
He is survived by two sons, John Preston Elliot (Mary) of Binghamton, NY and Douglas Muir Elliot of Ithaca; by a brother, Donald McGregor Elliot of Red Deer, Alberta, and a sister, Hazel Gartshore of Brighton, Ontario; and by two step-grandchildren, a step-great-granddaughter, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his wife, Jane Preston Elliot; a brother, William Ross Elliot of Howick, Quebec; and two sisters, Kathleen Cowper of Hamilton, Ontario and Marjorie Robinson of Kenmore, Ontario. He is also survived by a dearly beloved life-long friend who helped him survive the lonely and bewildering days following Jane’s death with advice and suggestions gained first-hand some years before.
The family would like to thank the staff at Bridges Cornell Heights for their compassionate and loving care and for greatly enriching Murray’s life during his last years.
At Murray’s request, there will be no calling hours. A memorial event may be announced later. Following cremation, interment will be in Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst, Massachusetts, at the convenience of the family.