Donovan Elliott

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Donovan V. Elliott, Jr, known mostly by his nickname, "Duff", was born in Houston, Texas, USA, in 1943, but lived most of his life in Southern California.

After several years of poor health he died in 2014 at the age of 71.

Individual Facts

Vital Statistics

  • Name: Donovan Vernel Elliott, Jr
  • AKA: D.V., Duff, The Kid, Duffy, Dobbie,
  • Sex: Male
  • Father: Donovan Vernel Elliott
  • Mother: Etta Florence Nellie Snyder
  • Birth: 10 October 1943 in Houston, Texas
  • Death: 17 December 2014 in Westminster, California


Marriage 1

  • Spouse: Karen Ann
  • Marriage: 30 Dec 1967 at Brides Choice Wedding Chapel
  • Children: stepdaughters Kelly Shelly and Belinda
  • Divorced: Final Judgment of Nullity on 26 April 1971, Orange Co, CA

Marriage 2

  • Spouse: Carolyn
  • Marriage: 5 Apr 1975, Parent’s home, Garden Grove, CA
  • Children: 1 stepson, Tim
  • Divorced: 9 August 1993 Orange Co, CA

Marriage 3

  • Spouse: : Judith
  • Marriage: 4 March 2005 at Laughlin, Clark, NV
  • Children: stepsons Stephen and Thomas


His parents were Donovan V. and Florence (nee Snyder) Elliott, both originally of Kansas, USA. He was born in Houston, Texas, but lived most of his life in Southern California. His father was ill most of his life, suffering from a heart valve problem that was then difficult to treat. For this reason, his mother had to work to support the family. The family moved to Garden Grove in November 1959, where he attended Rancho Alamitos High School. His father passed away in January 1960.

In July 1960 his mother remarried, to Don Clark, a widower who had been one of her coworkers at Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, where his mother had worked for seven years.

Duff was extremely talented. He could make anything out of wood, could weld anything, and at various times worked as a tile maker, carpet layer, mechanic and welder. While working at ITS on the docks he made tools and jigs that amazed his bosses. He had an eye for design, collected signs, loved muscle cars and pickup trucks, and everything he owned had something one never saw on anything else -- the family referred to these unique features "Duffy Do's".

He was an accomplished "backyard mechanic", and could do amazing things with automobiles. He maintained his vehicles with loving flair, and I recall one time when I had been watching as he gave his Corvette Stingray a tuneup. When he was done, he offered to take me on a checkride, to which I eagerly agreed! We drove out of the driveway of the house in Garden Grove, California, and as we got onto the onramp to the Garden Grove Freeway, his relatively placid driving came to an end and off we rocketed! It was exhilarating as we proceeded to make the rest of the traffic on the freeway look like it was standing still, accelerating up to the rear bumpers of some cars, whipping around them only to pass others. This trip didn't last long, for we got off at the next exit and it was back to normal driving, but it was jaw-droppingly awesome! I have never had my heart in my throat like that, before or since. It was great!!! I think he enjoyed my discomfiture.

Duff attended various schools in Southern California, and displayed a great deal of interest in fixing cars and trucks of all types, and could often be found burrowing into the engine compartment of whatever motor vehicle had hit his fancy at the time. He loved muscle cars and tough pickup trucks, and at one time or another owned an early Chevy Corvette and later a Corvette Stingray. One of his favorite pickup trucks displayed a plaque on the back of its tailgate: "The Jim Beam Special". Of course, Jim Beam was his favorite brand of bourbon whiskey.

Duff worked at physical occupations for most of his life, and at the time of his retirement was working as a welder at ITS (International Transportation Service, Inc.), Gate & Container Yard at Pier J in Long Beach, California.

Military Service

Duff served in the United States Army during the Viet Nam War, from 1965 to 1967, after volunteering for and being rejected from military service for medical reasons -- and then being drafted.

Check out the details of his military service: Donovan V. Elliott Jr Military Service


Smoking all his life had taken its toll, and even after quitting the habit breathing was still not easy. He maintained his sense of humor and fun through all the trouble, but eventually it all caught up with him. After nearly a month in the hospital, tied to an oxygen tube and getting very tired of it all, his heart grew too weak to continue pumping and was stilled in the early hours of 17 December 2014.