Women In Aviation International Pioneer Hall Of Fame Member
Dies at 91
Elliott Aviation co-founder Arlene Elliott passed away in
Naples, FL on Sunday, January 17, 2010 at the age of 91. Mrs.
Elliott was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Herb
Elliott, with whom she co-founded Elliott Aviation in 1936.
"This is a sad time for the entire Elliott Aviation family," said
son Wynn Elliott, who was named president and chief executive
officer of Elliott Aviation in 1993. "My mom was a loving wife, and
a wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. But more
than that, she was truly an aviation pioneer and one of the first
great women in the industry."
Born in Plainview, Iowa on September 5, 1918, Arlene Stoltenberg
met her future husband, Herb Elliott, at Davenport (Iowa) High
School in 1933 and the two were wed in 1939. Herb Elliott founded
Elliott Flying Service at Cram Field in Davenport in 1936. Arlene
worked full-time as secretary to the president of Victor
Animatograph (manufacturers of the original "home/office movie
projector") in Davenport and kept the Elliott Flying Service books,
paying bills for Herb part time.
A pilot in her own right (she soloed in a Piper Cub in 1936),
Arlene instead chose to focus on promoting general aviation, and is
widely credited with persuading banks to finance purchases of
business aircraft, which enabled a broader range of entrepreneurs
to gain access to these powerful business tools. She also served as
the primary financial officer for Elliott Aviation for much of her
career and treasurer on the Elliott Aviation Board of
In recognition of her more than 60 years in the industry, in
1999 Arlene was inducted into the Women In Aviation International
Pioneer Hall of Fame.
The Elliotts' passion for aviation enabled the company to grow
from humble beginnings to nationally recognized prominence as a
full-service business aircraft sales and technical services company
with facilities and dealerships in the Quad Cities, Des Moines, IA,
Minneapolis, MN, and Omaha, NE.
The company was one of the original independent Beech
dealerships, and in 1977, Beech Aircraft Corporation renamed its
"Man of the Year" award to "Team of the Year," and gave the award
to both Herb and Arlene, who are listed in the Beechcraft Hall of
Fame. The National Air Transportation Association (NATA)
recognized the Elliotts with the Distinguished Service Award in
1989, and the William A. "Bill" Ong Memorial Award in 2001.
Mr. Elliott passed away in 2005 at the age of 90. She is
survived by her daughter Pam Doherty and son-in-law Dick Doherty of
Crystal Lake, Ill., son Wynn and daughter-in-law Sara Elliott, of
Bettendorf, Iowa, four grandchildren and two