Elizabeth Elliott
Elizabeth Elliott

Obituary of Elizabeth Elliott



(née Porter)

July 20, 1924 - February 17, 2022


After a long and fulfilling life, Elizabeth Elliott has passed away at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, in her 98th year.

She was predeceased by her husband, Douglas; her brothers, Robert (Marjorie), Wilfred (Sadie), George (Betty); and sister, Margaret McDonald (Arthur). She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Crowe. She also leaves behind her son Chas and daughter Susan.

Born and raised in Toronto, she studied singing at the Hamburg Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of Music, achieving the highest mark in Canada on her ARCT diploma in voice performance. Not surprisingly, she was a church soloist at age sixteen. When WWII broke out she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed at Trenton, ON. She served there as secretary to the Roman Catholic and Protestant Chaplains. It was her job to type the letters of condolence to the families after each air raid. She recalled each morning combing through the pile of casualties to make sure her brothers were not named.

It was at Trenton that she met her future husband and soulmate of 65 years. Douglas was already an accomplished musician who immediately made sure he was always her accompanist whenever she was asked to perform. They were married six months later. The war had ended and she maneuvered a West Coast discharge so they could honeymoon hitchhiking down the coast, through to the Grand Canyon, Arizona and New Mexico.


Upon returning to Toronto, Elizabeth began a busy singing career as the Toronto music scene exploded after the war. Chorally she sang weekly with the Carl Tapscott Singers on the burgeoning CTV television network. She was a charter member of the Festival Singers of Canada under Elmer Isler, a professional choir that recorded and performed coast to coast and were invited to sing at the White House. One of their memorable recordings was the Symphony of Psalms, written and conducted by Igor Stravinsky. As a soloist she performed Handel's Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Walter Susskind. She was also a soloist with the Canadian Opera Company singing, among others, the role of Waltraute in Wagner's Die Walküre. All the while she maintained a demanding career as a church soloist in Toronto for over 40 years, singing at St. Andrew's Presbyterian, Yorkminster Park Baptist and finally Lawrence Park Community Church. Summers were happily spent supporting Douglas on his painting trips to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Massachusetts. Later, spring meant painting in Vermont, Scotland and Ireland. Together they were an unbeatable team and her bag was always half packed, ready to go wherever the light was right.  She loved walking and breathing deep, bird watching and making incredible blueberry pancakes. After retiring from singing, she continued to use her voice production skills and interpretative talents to make a contribution as a reader, revelling in recording with the CBC and performing at Lawrence Park and the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.  She was constantly amazed when people commented on how well she read. "Of course, I'm a professional." One would be hard pressed to find a more pragmatically positive person. Her love of life and her large spirit were contagious and felt by all. She will be missed terribly by her daughter, Susan, her son, Chas, and by all who knew her.

The family would like to extend their gratitude and affection to the fabulous care team at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre. Talk about support! Everyone there not only looked after her, but worked tirelessly to make her feel a part of that community.  Thanks to all of you! Mom was happy and grateful to be at Sunnybrook.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 3rd at 11:00 a.m. in Lawrence Park Community Church.

Due to capacity restrictions, the funeral service will also be live-streamed. A link for the streaming of the service will be made available on March 3rd at www.lawrenceparkchurch.ca

Unfortunately, with Covid restrictions, we will have to eat, drink and tell "Betty stories" at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family would like for any donations be sent to https://donate.sunnybrook.ca/tribute. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


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