The training and fitness center at the Franklin County Sheriff’s campus was officially dedicated to former deputy Capt. Steve Elliott in a ceremony last Wednesday.
A new sign honoring Elliott was unveiled by his wife and daughter as Sheriff Steve Pelton and Gary Toelke, fellow deputies and SWAT team members, looked on.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t remember something that Steve did,” Pelton said.
During his career, Elliott was a proponent of physical fitness and tactics used to keep deputies safe in hands-on situations.
The building was previously referred to as the Butler Building.
Former Sheriff Gary Toelke said before he retired he would use the fitness center at least three times a week.
“I don’t need to tell any of you what kind of man Steve was,” Toelke said. “You really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
Last fall the sheriff’s department and the county commission honored Elliott and former Chief Deputy Mike Copeland by naming the training center and shooting range after the two men who had both recently died of cancer.
Combined, the pair had 77 years of service to the county.
At that time, a special shadow box containing one of Elliott’s dress uniform shirts and other items was hung in the fitness center.
“With the entrance of a new regime and a new era in the department, we want to emphasize the great things they’ve done and make sure their names are never forgotten,” Toelke said. “Twenty years from now I hope people see their names on these facilities and ask who they were and what they did.”
Barb Elliott, who was joined at the ceremonies by family members, was very touched by the honor bestowed on her family.
“This is exactly what you want,” she said. “You always want them to be remembered and you can see that in all of the guys he trained. Because of Steve, they know what to do and how to do it. He gave a lot to the county and this meant a lot to him.”
Elliott was diagnosed with undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma in January 2015.
He passed away just eight months later.
Since that time, his family started the charitable group Popo’s Posse in his memory to raise money to fund research and increase awareness of sarcoma.
Over the past two years Popo’s Posse has raised $35,000.
Their next event will be Saturday, Aug. 26, at the American Legion Hall in Union.
The night will include a chicken/fish dinner with all the fixings, silent and live auctions and raffles.
All funds raised will go directly to the fourth annual St. Louis Cure Sarcoma Walk/Run scheduled for Oct. 8 at Creve Coeur Lake and benefits the Siteman Cancer Center.
For more information, or to make a monetary or auction donation please contact Barb Elliot at 636-234-4118 or Heather Rehling at 636-875-4290.