Published: May 8, 2012
Marvin Eliot, 81, of Windsor, Conn., a well-known and respected antiques dealer specializing in early iron and hearth antiques, died peacefully on May 2 at St Mary Home.
Marvin, the beloved husband of Barbara (Skolnick) Eliot, was born in Bridgeport, Conn., on March 7, 1931, to Mary (Kushner) and Joseph Elovitz. He served his country honorably as a member of the US Air Force during the Korean War.
Marvin had retired from the US Postal Service, where he had served as a training officer for more than 35 years. Most recently he and Barbara operated Pottles and Pannikins, appearing at many antiques shows throughout the Northeast.
“Just about every time we saw Marvin at an antiques show, he would reach for a piece of hearth iron and give us a full explanation of the use and rarity of the piece,” said R. Scudder Smith, editor and publisher of Antiques and The Arts Weekly . “He was always gracious, proud of the objects he had for sale, and generous with his knowledge of iron.”
Antiques and The Arts Weekly’s advertising manager Sue Capponi remembered when Marvin and Barbara would come in to place their ads in person. “They were so friendly, and Marv would always chat for a bit with me. He was such a kind and gentle man. I enjoyed when he would explain a piece that he was going to advertise. He had no problem taking the time to talk to me. I will certainly miss him and miss talking to him at shows.”
Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Productions in Rhinebeck, N.Y., said, “It is with great sadness that I learned of Marv Eliot’s passing. Marv and his wife Barbara, well-known as Pottles and Pannikins, were much-loved exhibitors at our Autumn Hartford, Mid*Week in Manchester and Guilford Antiques Shows for many years and will be dearly missed. Marv was considered an expert by collectors and fellow dealers alike in the fields of early American lighting devices, fireplace and hearth equipment, as well as Eighteenth Century country furniture. His joyful presence and enthusiasm at our shows always attracted an audience just to visit with him and Barb where now a void will be. Our sincere condolences to Barbara and family.”
A fun-loving man, Marvin never was one to shy from a good conversation. North Granby, Conn., antiques dealers Steve and Lorraine German of Mad River Antiques first met Marv and Barbara at an antiques show about ten years ago. “Although we began as friends, we quickly became family,” recalled Steve. “Marvin was a willing mentor as Lorraine and I began our business and over the years, he offered his advice on a variety of topics. We spoke on the phone at least three times a week, catching up on the business or talking about our families.
“To some degree, Marv was also a father figure to me, since my own father had passed away more than 20 years ago,” Steve continued. “He enjoyed life and the people around him, and he taught me to treat each day as a gift to be treasured. Marvin loved his family and was so proud of them all. He especially cherished the times that he spent with his grandchildren. While people knew him for his expertise in hearth iron, not many people knew that he also collected early toys and he spent hours sharing that love with his grandchildren. He kept his toys in his finished attic, and one area that he really enjoyed were his miniature Civil War soldiers that were set up to replicate a battle. If anybody moved any of the figures, numbering more than 100, he knew exactly where to move them back.
“Although Marvin will be missed, we will never forget him, and we’re thankful that we still have Barbara in our lives,” Steve said.
In addition to his wife Barbara, he leaves his daughters, Lori Eliot of Windsor; Karen Ralbovsky and her husband John of Stamford; his grandchildren, Sam Eliot Ralbovsky and Kate Valentine Ralbovsky, both of Stamford, as well as his three “grand dogs,” Raven, Caleb and Asher.
A funeral service was conducted on May 4 at the Carmon Windsor Funeral Home in Windsor, Conn., with Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz presiding. Burial with military honors followed in the Beth Ahm Cemetery, Windsor.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 1 Union Street, Suite 301, Robbinsville NJ 08691-4183 or the American Cancer Society, 825 Brook Street, I-91 Tech Center, Rocky Hill CT 06067 or the AKC Canine Health Foundation, PO Box 90061, Raleigh NC 27617. Online condolences may be posted at www.carmonfuneralhome.com .
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