Bill & Alzena Elliot Celebrate
75 Years of Marriage
By Wayne I. Elliot
Hampton Union, Tuesday, July 16, 2002
at an outdoor ceremony at Mrs. Elliot's former home,
"The Willows," at North Beach, Hampton.
(Courtesy photo Foster's)
HAMPTON - Alzena and William (Bill) Elliot recently celebrated 75 years of marriage at the Dearborn Avenue home Elliot and his dad built 75 years ago.
Mrs. Elliot, the former Alzena Leavitt, a direct descendent of one of Hampton's founding families, and Mr. Elliot, known to many as Hampton Beach's "Singing Cop", were married on June 8, 1927, at an outdoor ceremony at Mrs. Elliot's home, "The Willows" in North Beach, Hampton.
Unable to hold a formal anniversary celebration, the couple was pleasantly surprised by cards, notes of recollection, citations and resolutions, which they received from more than 300 friends, relatives, neighbors, former business associates and governmental officials from around the United States and Canada.
They also heard from two members of the original wedding party, including pianist Annie Elliot of Maine and flower girl Joyce Smith Mott of Oregon.
The couple was honored by family members with an anniversary celebration given at their home by their children Betty and Wayne Elliot, June and Richard Chevalier and Holly and Larry Knowles. Many of their eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren were present in honor of the occasion.
The couple said they were extremely honored and surprised to receive so many "wonderful cards and notes" not only from their many friends and neighbors, but also a citation from Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a resolution from the New Hampshire state Senate, congratulations from Congressman John Sununu, as well as congratulatory notes from the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce, East Gate Club, N.H. Consistory, Valley of Portsmouth/Dover, St. James 102 F & AM, April Party Group, Oceanside Grange in Hampton, United Methodist Church, Orange Acres, Community Bank and Trust, Retail Merchants Association of N.H. and the Town of Hampton.
Three highlights of the celebration consisted of recognition on the Paul Harvey news program, which was heard around the country by many friends, a surprise visit by the Hampton United Methodist Church choir, which gave an outdoor garden concert at their home singing many of the couple's favorite songs and the presentation of a park bench by Dan Furden, former Chamber of Commerce associate and friend from Hampton Beach.
The donation of the bench was accepted by the Town of Hampton and will be permanently placed at North Beach near the location of the former U.S. Coast Guard Station, a favorite spot of Alzena Elliot when she was growing up.
Bill Elliot, before his retirement, spent most of his life as a professional singer, broadcasting over many major radio networks as well as appearing on stage throughout the country. He later became associated with National Life of Vermont, where he was an underwriter. He also served as executive secretary of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce, state park manager for New Hampshire and was the first executive vice president of the Retail Merchants Association of N.H.
The Elliots spent much of their lives promoting Hampton Beach and New Hampshire, both of which they love. They traveled many miles, staffing booths at tourist shows throughout the East Coast representing the chamber and the state.
They also still correspond with members of the Sunshine Shut-in Club, which Bill Elliot, with his wife's assistance, formed while he was performing with WEEI, CBS, Boston. They visited numerous shut-ins in their homes and at hospitals.
Bill Elliot was also active with the Masons, church activities, Boy Scouts and athletics, both as a participant and coach.
He recently commented, "It was unbelievable the lovely sentiments of the verses which brought back so many cherished memories. We read them over and over. Whatever you did to make an old couple happy we can never thank you enough for it. We can only say it again from our hearts. Thanks again and God Bless you."