In Memory

Elliott Charnow


Elliott A. Charnow

April 7, 1942 — Nov. 27, 2010

Elliott Allen Charnow died on Nov. 27, 2010, at the age of 68, succumbing to a long battle with emphysema (COPD). Elliott was born in San Mateo, Calif. He began his career in music while attending Carlmont High School in Belmont, Calif. He played the clarinet in the band and the orchestra, as well as completing all the requirements to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He earned his Bachelor’s degree (1964) and his Master’s degree in music (1968) from San Jose State. He was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinofia Franternity.

Elliott’s teaching career began at Castro Valley High School in 1964, where the young music director met his future wife, Judy, who taught Spanish and French. They had celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in April 2010, surrounded by family and close friends. He was a long-time director of the Hayward/La Honda Music Camp.

In 1971 Elliott began teaching music at Chabot College in Hayward and ended his career there as Dean of Humanities, retiring in 2001, beloved by faculty and students alike. During that time he had been a member of the American Federation of Musicians (local 153), the Music Educators National Conference, the California Music Educators Association, and the Music Educators of Northern California. After retiring, he and Judy moved to Placerville.

Elliott is survived by his wife, Judy of Placerville; their son, Steve Charnow (wife Ashley); their granddaughters, Madeline, Emily and Haley Charnow of Clovis, Calif.; their daughter, Diana Charnow Gonter (husband Lou); grandson, Max Gonter of Placerville; step-granddaughter, Louann Gonter Lynd of Sacramento; and his sister, Sheila Alperstein (husband Glenn) of Woodland Hills, Calif.

A memorial service in celebration of Elliott’s life will be held on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m., at Chapel of the Pines Funeral Home, 2855 Cold Springs Road in Placerville. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be sent to the American Lung Association (

(from Mountain Democrat, Placerville, CA -