Baker “Bake” Elliott passed away peacefully on January 21, 2021 at 98 years of age, having achieved his goal of being the longest-lived member of a family that has seen many of its members enjoy a similar fullness of years.
He was the son of Rhoda Baker Elliott and Harold Elliott; husband of Dorothy Flynn Elliott for 70 years; brother of Marilyn (Bill Rodee) and Sally (Harry Payne); father of Barbara (Brian Lee), Bob (Bonnie), and Cindy (John Niles); grandfather of Adria (Amy Pennington-Lee), Brigitte (Ben Snell), Candy, Melissa, Tina, and Scott (Leigh Arquiett); uncle of Elliott (Mary), Leslee (Steve Hooper), and Terri (Doug Rodee-Knuth); and great grandfather of his beloved great grandchildren.
As he grew up on Elliott Road in Beechertown, farming shaped Baker’s early life. In their respective graduating years, he and siblings Sally and Marilyn each earned the honor of being Brasher Stockholm High School Valedictorian.
Work with GLF's Petroleum Division led Baker to GLF’s Agricultural Division at Moulton and Elliott’s GLF Feed Store in Winthrop. That business grew into Elliott’s Agway, which continues through today as a third-generation family business. A source of great pride there for Baker was his development of the Customized Wildlife Mineral Mix and his original Lawn Seed mix, both especially suited to our north country climate.
A tireless worker and outdoorsman, Bake could be a challenge to keep up with. He wanted everyone to enjoy what he enjoyed. As a sports enthusiast, baseball, basketball, piloting a plane, and bobsledding captured his interest.
He was a voracious fan of the Syracuse Orangemen. His children and grandchildren were NOT especially voracious fans of being pulled on their water-skis into the narrowest, seaweed-entangled reaches of Higley Flow’s “Black Lagoon,” with Bake chuckling behind the boat’s steering wheel. Nevertheless, such trips are remembered with humor and gratitude for the courage and grit they taught.
Keeping up with Baker on snowmobiling trips required nerves of steel. No hill or curve was too steep to explore. Below-zero temperatures were to him an invitation to enjoy winter even more. Into their 80s, Dorothy gamely joined in on long Adirondack treks.
Hunting drew him to Weller Mt. Fish and Game Preserve where for 62 years he enjoyed membership and board positions. He proudly developed custom deer plot seed mixes for its Deer Management Program and relished each hunting season's camaraderie. Beyond his pleasure in the Adirondacks, he hunted caribou in Labrador and fished in the northern reaches of Quebec.
Humor pervaded daily work and everyday life was lightened with pranks that required anyone in Bake’s sphere to be on their toes. Often partnering with his undertaker pal across Main Street—or a dismayed Dorothy, through coercion—laughter flowed.
Summer weekends at the Higley cottage abounded in company, cookouts, and waterskiing, with the family beagle ever present. Generations recall the tradition of dancing and singing through the summer nights to the music of the old boathouse Victrola.
Generosity was a lesson Baker taught us well. Dorothy and he would match amounts saved by their children and grandchildren when they observed that an earnest effort at saving for specific goals had been made. If a grandchild saved half of the needed sum for something such as a school band instrument, Dorothy and Baker would offer the remaining half. During Agway’s Annual Fruit Sales, Baker delighted in delivering extra bushels to many local families.
Among his many organizational affiliations, Baker served for decades as a Key Bank Advisory Board Member, a Potsdam Elks Club member, and a National Grange member.
As per his request, the family will honor his life privately. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to Tri-Town Volunteer Rescue Squad or Brasher-Winthrop Fire Department in care of Cindy Niles, Box 275, Winthrop, NY 13697 or Barbara Lee, 91 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617.