Elliott Maurice Taffel was born on March 19, 1932, to Stanley & Ruth Taffel in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY. At the age of 4 he tragically lost his father and was fortunate that his Uncle Henry and Aunt Essie took him, his mother & baby brother Ronnie in to their home. They, along with Elliott’s Uncle Mac made sure that the boys never felt alone or unloved.
By the age of 25, Elliott was a well known “Mambo-nick," and a premiere dance instructor at most of the hotels in the Catskills. And if you’re picturing Patrick Swayze in “Dirty Dancing," you’re not far off! Pretty soon he transitioned behind the bar and became a star mixologist at The Copacabana Nightclub, ultimately being promoted to captain.
On November 29th, 1959 he walked down the aisle with the love of his life, Marilynn Florence Heller, from Williamsburg, NY. Together they had 3 children, Stan, Jodi & Cindy, to whom Elliott was a doting and loving father.
Not happy to follow in the footsteps of the uncles he grew up with and dearly loved, rather than take the “safe” route and become a doctor or dentist, Elliott followed his own career path. He defied convention by working side by side with his wife to create their own business ventures. Beginning with a wildly successful pizza restaurant (not typical for a nice Jewish couple), they parlayed that success into their 1st gas station and ultimately into owning a pair of front end repair shops. The automotive skills he learned as a soldier in the US Army served him well in this venture.
Elliott’s true passion, however (not withstanding his wife and children) was the sea. If he wasn’t working, that’s where he could always be found. Owning boats from the time he was old enough to drive, CAPTAIN Elliott was never happier than when he was either working on the engines or strapped to a fighting chair on the deck.
To his children, Elliott seemed to be indestructible. Having survived a car fire (and saving his entire family in the process), a crushing leg injury, anaphylaxis, sepsis, shattered bones, cancer and multiple diabetic seizures, he was the living embodiment of Superman in their eyes.
To his last day, Elliott insisted he was “OK," hand gesturing the same even when he could no longer speak. His sole goal was to ease his family’s burden. And at a time in the world when many succumb to disease, Elliott was so incredibly strong that he defied every doctor’s expectation and at the age of 91, simply acquiesced to “old age," proving that he was human after all. Elliott transitioned into immortality on April 5th, 2023, just hours before the 1st Yahrzeit of his beloved Marilynn. No doubt they are together in Heaven dancing the Pachanga, to the delight of all the friends that went before them.
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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