He took a brief leave from the ministry in 1966 to pursue sales, with Brown & Bigelow Advertising, becoming the top salesperson on the East Coast. He pastored two churches in Passumpsic and East Barnet, VT, with his second wife Kay and their son James from 1968-1970. They lived in Hyannis MA from 1970-1976 and Framingham, MA from 1976-1980.
Eliot had a ministry on public TV in Worcester, MA from 1992-1994. He pastored the Bristol Baptist Church in New Hampshire from 1994-8. He returned to the Cape, living in West Dennis from 1998-2001. During this time, Eliot worked at a shipyard on the Cape, where he was part of a team that refurbished Ted Kennedy’s sailboat.
Eliot moved to Provincetown in 2001. He performed his first concert as “Ellie” at the Unitarian Universalist Church in 2003. He started street performing as “Ellie- Ptown Showgirl, 74 Years Young- Living Her Dreams”, regaling tourists and townspeople year round, in all weather, with Broadway show tunes, Amazing Grace, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett renditions, becoming a Provincetown icon as its unofficial ambassador/greeter. He performed in front of Town Hall, Chadington’s, Whalers Wharf, and pulled a wagon carrying his sound equipment up and down Commercial Street as he sang.
Ellie’s good friend, producer Tom Yaz, persuaded Ellie after three years to produce “Ellie in High Fidelity”, in 2009, which sold out immediately. It is currently in it’s third production run. Ellie won first place in Ryan Landry’s Showgirls, for his signature song “My Way”, and appeared in numerous youtube videos posted by Provincetown tourists who loved him. Ellie was the subject of several documentaries, short films, magazine and newspaper articles, including coverage in the New York Times.
Ellie was a devotee of the Outer Cape Chorale ,and an active participant at both St.Peters and the Unitarian Churches in Provincetown. He was an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan.
His last public performance was at the grand re-opening of the Provincetown Town Hall in December, 2010, for which he received a standing ovation. His greatest legacy was loving and accepting everyone for who they are, and encouraging everyone to live their dreams.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ellie’s memory to the McCarthy Care Center, 73 Service Rd, East Sandwich, MA, 02537, St. Peter’s Church, Provincetown, or the Unitarian Universalist Church, Provincetown. A public Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, May 14th at 11 AM at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Provincetown. A Tribute to Ellie- an Ellie Palooza- will be held on Father’s Day, June 19th at 1 PM, in front of Town Hall in Provincetown, followed by a reception and silent auction at the Crown and Anchor.
December 1, 1931 – April 7, 2011