In Memory of






Obituary for The Reverend Dr. John N. Elliott

The Reverend Dr. John N. Elliott (88) died on May 9, 2019, in Franklin, Indiana. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 3:00 pm Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Grace United Methodist Church, Franklin, Indiana (1 mile west of exit 90 on Interstate 65). Visitation will occur from 1:30-3:00 pm prior to the service.
Born in Angola, Indiana, on May 23, 1930, John was the youngest of four children born to Marguerite (Norris) and Clayton Elliott. He spent his childhood and teen years deeply involved in 4-H, FFA, and church youth group activities as well as playing baseball and basketball for Angola High School.
John earned a Rector Scholarship and a Bachelor of Science degree from DePauw University, Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Boston University School of Theology, and a Doctor of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. He was also a graduate of the Upper Room Academy of Spiritual Formation.
While a student at Boston University, John did social work in the poor neighborhoods of South Boston and for two years served as pastor of the East Wareham, Massachusetts, Methodist Church. While on summer break, he pastored the Methodist Church in Kingsland Indiana.
From 1959 to 1964, John served as the Methodist Board of Missions as Business Manager of Bishop Rockey High School in Gomoh, Bihar, India, as well as District Missionary to seven Methodist Churches in the Gomoh area. He won government accreditation for Bishop Rockey High School by implementing improved curriculum, staffing, and physical facilities. From 1964-1965 he served as interim head of the Asia Desk at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland.
Upon returning to the United States, John served three years as Youth Pastor for High Street Methodist Church in Muncie, Indiana. Eight years as pastor of the Albany, Indiana, United Methodist Church followed. Then his request for inner city ministry resulted in his assignment to East Chicago First and Hammond Centenary United Methodist churches for six years. Six more years of inner city work followed at Fort Wayne Faith United Methodist Church. John’s last appointment was for six years at Christ United Methodist Church in Lafayette, Indiana, where he retired from the ministry in 1994.
John was a co-founder of community organizations in both East Chicago and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and both of those organizations effected major changes in banking, housing, and environmental practices in their neighborhoods. In recognition of this work John received the John Adams Award from the United Methodist Committee on Social Action.
John is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joyce Ann (Whitehead) Elliott; two sons – Donald Elliott (Elizabeth) of Denver, Colorado, and Stephen Elliott, M.D. (Linda) of Fishers, Indiana. He is also survived by five grandchildren; Aaron Ketrow (Katie) of Charleston, South Carolina, Andrew Ketrow of Fishers, Indiana, Erin Elliott (Ashley) of Bluffton, South Carolina, Maya Elliott of New York, New York, and Ethan Elliott of Miami, Florida. He is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Norah, Ella, and Charlene Ketrow of Charleston, South Carolina; by several nieces and nephews; and by his brother Robert Elliott (Jackie) of Cornelius, North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, John requested that donations be made to any of the following: Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin, Indiana (Samaritan Fund), Christ United Methodist Church in Lafayette, Indiana (Missions or Music Ministry), or Otterbein SeniorLife Community in Franklin, Indiana (Benevolent Fund).
Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 300 South US 31 (Morton Street) Franklin, IN, 46131 is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences at Information at 317-738-0202.