Lieutenant Colonel Eliot Hull Potter, USAF (Retired), Topeka, Kansas, passed away in his 100th year on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. He was born September 23, 1921 in Bradenton, Florida, the son of Louis Montague Potter and Hope Speaker Potter. He grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and Owings Mill, Maryland. He attended Cambridge Jr. College in Boston, Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Administration from Washburn University. He also earned a Bachelor of Military Science from the University of Nebraska - Omaha through the Bootstraps program.
He was a career officer in the United States Air Force and retired from Forbes Air Force Base on September 30, 1964. During his time with the Air Force, Eliot was a bomber pilot and flew 53 missions over Italy during World War II. He completed 55 missions over Korea during the Korean conflict. During the Cold War he flew BN 36 bombers and RBN 47 recon aircraft in the Strategic Air Command. He was squadron commander of the 55th O.M.S. when he retired from the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Eliot continued to fly charter planes and corporate jets until 1976. He obtained his final pilot rating as a UFO (United Flying Octogenarian).
Eliot was Chief of Staff for Kansas Secretary of State Jack Brier and was involved in many volunteer activities. Kiwanis was a big part of his retired life. He served as Governor of the Kansas District of Kiwanis as well as Trustee of the Kiwanis International Foundation. Other activities included Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and Charter Member and past president of the Military Officers Association of America. He was also a charter member of the Combat Air Museum, a member of the Kansas Historical Society and on the Board of Directors for Great Overland Station.
His first wife was Joan Schroeder Potter, and preceded him in death in 1980. They raised two children, Barbara and David.
Eliot was also preceded in death by his mother Hope, father Louis, sister Jean Powderly, sister Dana Gibson, brother Louis, and stepdaughter Susan Wright. Survivors include his wife Treva Kennedy Potter, two children Barbara Potter, San Diego, CA and David E. Potter, Santa Fe, NM; two stepsons, Hal (Mary) Kennedy, and Michael (Janet) Kennedy, and son-in-law Doug (Anne Bennett) Wright; seven grandchildren, Sara Wright, Adam (Lisa) Wright, Karla (Jason) Pfeiler, Kacie Jones, Jessica Kennedy, Jon (Paige) Tenholder, Ryan Tenholder; and nine great-grandchildren.
Visitation and reception will begin at 10:00 am Thursday, April 22, 2021 followed by a Memorial service in the Chapel and a full military honors burial at graveside. Services will be at Mount Hope Cemetery & Funeral Chapel, 4700 SW 17th Street, Topeka, KS.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Combat Air Museum, 7016 SE Forbes Avenue, Topeka, KS 66619 or Kansas Kiwanis Foundation, PO Box 3628, Olathe, KS 66063, please note Eliot Potter, Kiwanis Club of Topeka (Downtown Kiwanis) in the memo or Great Overland Station, 701 N Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66608.
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