Harry Cecil Elliott II, founder of H.C. Elliott, Inc., died recently in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 96.

Elliott founded H.C. Elliott Inc., a top-100 home builder and developer, now in its fourth generation of private ownership. The Elliott companies have built more than 35,000 homes throughout California, Arizona and Texas, as well as thousands of apartments, and millions of square feet of industrial, commercial and office buildings.

Elliott, who was active in local and state home building associations, was named "Local Builder of the Year" and in 1987 was inducted into the California Building Industry Association Hall of Fame.

Elliott, who grew up in a home built by his father, worked during World War II in the Navy shipyards at Port Orchid, Washington during the day and then each evening and weekend began building homes from the back of his pickup truck. In 1946 H.C., packed his wife and four children into the car and a 15 foot long travel trailer in which they lived until they found "a good spot to build and settle" in Southern California. H.C. built his first subdivision in 1950, and built more than 2,000 homes throughout the region during that decade.

In search of reasonably priced land, H.C. Elliott moved his family to Northern California in the early 1960s. In the '70s, the company expanded to Arizona, subsequently broadening its scope to developing master planned communities as large as 3,000 acres, mobile home parks, apartment complexes, two million square feet of non-residential, industrial, retail and office space, and then expanding into banking, mortgage financing and insurance companies

H.C. steadfastly refused to take the company public.

He enjoyed piloting small aircraft, spending time with his wife, family and grandchildren, yet managed to continue building custom homes well into his retirement years and actively served as chairman for Elliott Homes, Inc. He spent the past eight years with his family in Santa Barbara.

H.C.'s son, Harry C. Elliott III, now runs the company; several grandchildren remain actively involved as well.

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