Donald F. Elliott Jr
||Donald Finley "Fin" Elliott Jr. |
October 8, 1921 - December 15, 2017
Donald Finley Elliott Jr., a prominent Indianapolis attorney and retired partner at the firm Ice
Miller Donadio and Ryan, died on December 15, 2017. He was 96.
Mr. Elliott began his professional career at the Indianapolis law firm then known as Ross McCord Ice
and Miller. During his tenure, it became one of the largest law firms in the state of Indiana, where
he worked in the areas of business, corporate and banking law until his retirement in 1987. He
represented national corporations such as RCA, as well as local businesses. He earned the respect
of his colleagues and legal adversaries alike through his thoughtful, confident demeanor, and his
knowledge of and passion for the law.
Known to his friends as "Fin," Mr. Elliott was born October 8, 1921 in Kokomo, Indiana to a family
steeped in the law; his father, Donald Finley Elliott, was an attorney who graduated from DePauw
University and Columbia Law School, and his grandfather, James Finley Elliott, was a Civil War veteran
who became a circuit court judge. His mother was Pauline Hoss Elliott.
He attended Kokomo High School for two years, and then graduated from Culver Military Academy
in 1939. Like his father, he attended DePauw University, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa
Psi fraternity. After graduating in 1943 with a major in history, he served in the US Navy during
World War II, ultimately as the executive officer aboard the USS Bannack, operating in the South
Pacific. After the war, Mr. Elliott attended Columbia Law School, where he lived for a time in the
same dorm room his father had occupied years earlier.
In 1954, he married Dorothy Ann Yates, who survives him along with their three children, Kenneth
Elliott, Richard (Anne) Elliott, and Emily (Robert) Browning.
Among his many charitable and civic activities, Mr. Elliott served as a member and elder at Second
Presbyterian Church, where he was clerk of session for 10 years. He organized and served as a
director of both the Indianapolis 500 Festival and the Marion County Association for Retarded Children.
He served on the Metropolitan Development Commission, and the boards of the Maxinkuckee Country
Club, Marquette Manor, United Hospital Services, the Eagle Creek Park Foundation, the Pike Township
Residents Association, and the American United Life Insurance Company.
For 27 years, he was chairman of the board of directors of the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company,
a business purchased and developed in part by his great-grandfather, Peter E. Hoss, in 1891. The
company became a flagship supplier of stained and decorative glass, counting Louis Comfort Tiffany
and Frank Lloyd Wright among its prominent customers. At the Opalescent, he worked as a close
advisor to his son, Richard, who was for many years president of the company. "My father had a
remarkable gift for diplomacy in business," according to Richard. "He instinctively knew when to
turn on the pressure, and when to listen, when to exert his influence, and when to let others
lead." The business enjoyed some of its most profitable years of expansion and growth under Mr.
Fin was an avid golfer who also loved playing bridge with friends, gardening and relaxing at his family c
ottage on Lake Maxinkuckee.
In addition to his wife and three children, he is also survived by eight grandchildren, Rebecca Elliott,
Lillian Elliott, Andrew (Deanna) Browning, Elliott Browning, Charles (Allison) Browning, Robert
Browning, Theodore Browning and Melissa Browning, a niece, Malinda Elliott, and two nephews,
James Elliott and William Elliott.
A memorial service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN
46260 on December 28 at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation preceding the service at 10:00 a.m. A
private interment ceremony will immediately follow the service in the Memorial Garden at Second
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to BrightFocus Foundation, Macular Degeneration
Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871