Houston lost one its most clever wordsmiths Monday morning, March 30 in a tragic, untimely death. He was 54 years old. He is survived by his mother, Merilyn Elliott, sister Lisa Elliott, niece Sarah Wheeler, and nephew Andrew Wheeler all of Houston. He is preceeded in death by his beloved father Earl Elliott. As father Earl made his mark with his community involvement and leadership in the Houston Golf Association, Brett made an equally impressive mark in the world of Houston advertising.
A native Houstonian and 1973 graduate of Memorial High School, he was a champion debater. He won or placed at numerous debate competitions, including First Place at the South Houston Cross-Examination Debate Championship in 1972. More recently he was active in the Houston Chapter of the Urban Debate League, helping inner city and disadvantaged high school students become championship quality debaters and students.
Elliott earned his B.S. in advertising from the University of Texas in Austin (class of ’77) during the glory years of the seventies. Brett described his degree as light on the science part, heavy on the B.S.
He then went on to work for agencies and media entities such as Mark Logan Advertising, The Belcher Group, The Williams Group/William Hinz Advertising, Media Concepts, The Houston Post, The Hinckley Group/Hinckley and Slade and BRSG where he served in advertising related capacities as account services, promotions, public relations and copywriting.
Most recently he was senior copywriter, Lopez Negrete Communications. He got a kick out telling people that although “he no habla español” he was a gringo copywriter at the second largest independently owned Hispanic marketing agency in the country.
While producing award-winning work for several of Houston’s most prominent advertising agencies throughout his career, Elliott also dug into the trenches of the Houston Advertising Federation now AAF-Houston, serving terms in the 1990s and most recently through 2011 on the Board of Directors, chairing committees, working on Houston’s ADDY shows, judging other shows around the country and acting as script writer for three AAF National ADDY shows. Brett was the model of a new ad club award, the Spirit of HAF, and received that distinction in 1997. The Spirit Award recognizes AAF-Houston members who have contributed significantly to the organization in a selfless manner.
He loved loud rock music and soft, ole-school jazz. He could quote you the liner notes from any album from the 70's, loved introducing his niece to all kinds of music and attended plays at the Alley Theatre regularly with his mom. Most of all he loved his good friends from all walks of life and broke the hip creative rules by driving a mini van most of his life. As Brett would end his notes and e-mails – “Peace, love…..now turn up the music.”
Visitation will be held on Friday, April 3, 2009 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the George Lewis Funeral Home, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston, TX 77057, 713-789-3005. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the same address.
A Brett Elliott Scholarship Fund has been set up by the American Advertising Federation-Houston. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to AEFH (Advertising Education Foundation of Houston), In Memory of Brett Elliott, P.O. Box 27592, Houston, TX 77227.