William Elliott Flower, beloved husband of Mary Helen McGee Flower, died peacefully on September 22, 2011, at Mount Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, Vermont, with his family by his side. He was 86 years old. Elliott was born in Woodstock, Vermont on January 20, 1925 to Archibald Dick Flower and Margaret Marsh Flower.
A lifelong Woodstock resident, Elliott graduated from Woodstock High School in 1943. From 1943 to 1947, he served as part of the U.S. Army Air Force, during which he attended the University of Pittsburg and received pilot training. A World War II veteran, he was stationed in Foggia, Italy as part of the 529th Bombardment Group. While in Italy, a particularly meaningful experience included receiving the Holy Communion from Padre Pio, who later became a Catholic saint. Pio, who was known for his ability to read people’s hearts, became a guiding figure in Elliott’s life from this point on.
After the war, Elliott returned to Woodstock in 1947, where he worked at the U.S. Post Office until retiring in 1984. He was appointed Postmaster in 1962, succeeding his mother and father. A member of the National Association of Postsmaster of the United States, he served as the State Director of its Vermont Chapter.
Elliott gave back to the Woodstock community in many ways. He nurtured his veteran and athletic roots as part of Post #24 of the American Legion, playing for its Woodstock Legion baseball team (which won the 1948 state championship). He also spent several years with the Village Zoning Board Administration and Town Capital Budget Committee, including nine years on the Board of Listers, where he held leadership roles. Elliott was also a longtime volunteer test participant for pulmonary studies at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. A devout Catholic, Elliott was an usher for over 45 years at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, and a Chairman for its Parish Council.
Among his numerous contributions and accomplishments, Elliott was most proud of being a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle to many family members. He took great pleasure making home-cooked meals for his family, becoming particularly well-known for his “Buppy Baked Beans.” He also cherished family summer vacations in York Beach, Maine. Passionate about nature, he enjoyed working in his garden and bird watching.
Elliott is survived by his wife, Mary Helen McGee Flower; a son, William Elliott Flower Jr., and daughter-in-law, Adrianne Emmanuel Flower; a daughter, Lynn Flower Budnik, and son-in-law, James Budnik; three granddaughters, Lindsay Budnik, Kathryn Budnik, and Annie Flower; two sisters, Marie Starrs and Kathleen Fitzpatrick; and many loving nieces and nephews. Elliott was predeceased by his mother and father, and brothers and sisters: Fran Callahan, Peg Hinckley, Archibald Flower, Thomas Flower, and Alan Flower.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on Monday, September 26th at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Woodstock. Visiting hours will be held at the Cabot Funeral Home on Sunday, September 25th, from 3 to 5 pm. On line condolences may be offered at cabotfh.com