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Thomas W. Elliot, Advocate for Deaf, Dies in Anaheim

June 11, 1996

ANAHEIM — Thomas W. Elliot, who dedicated most of his life to the deaf community, died last week of heart failure. He was 92.

Elliot, born in Graham, Mo., developed a hearing impairment as a child and committed much of his adult life to launching programs for the deaf.

"He formed his life around the deaf society," said his oldest son, Tom "Duke" Elliot. "He was always outgoing and always making time for people and their problems."

In 1933, he helped found the Northridge-based Los Angeles Club for the Deaf, which offered social events for deaf people.

About 13 years later, he also helped form the American Athletic Assn. for the Deaf, which organized national basketball tournaments for the deaf. The association branched out with chapters in cities throughout the country, including Detroit and Chicago.

His community work was praised in 1994 when he received the Governor's Hall of Fame Award, which recognizes work with disabled people.

Elliot ran a small printing business for about 20 years and sold it in 1946. He then joined the Los Angeles Times composing department, where he worked until his retirement in 1969.

Elliot died Friday in his Anaheim home.

He is survived by his sons Tom of Albany, Ore.; Nick of Crestline; Dave of Los Angeles; daughter Deborah DiSteffano of Washington, D.C., and four grandchildren.

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