Elton was born in Providence, RI to Henry and Rose Katz. He was a 1950 graduate of Classical High School in Providence and went on to Brown University where he graduated in 1954 cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his PhD in 1957 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focusing on physical chemistry.
After graduate school he received an appointment at Harvard University as Research Associate in Biological Chemistry in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery where he described the molecular structure of the skin and eyes. This was followed by a two-year sabbatical in Israel at the Weitzman Institute of Science. He ended his long career as a Professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center in the Department of Biostructure and Function.
Elton is internationally recognized as an expert in the use of x-ray crystallography as a means to understanding the molecular structure of connective tissue with a special interest in collagen. His collaborations with scientists around the world paved the way to understanding the process of connective tissue development and degeneration. Although Dr. Katz insisted his work was “basic science” in terms of how the body works, his research has important implications for life-altering medical breakthroughs in the field of orthopedics.
Elton was an avid sailor spending many happy summers with his wife and family and his good friend Neville Doherty sailing from Rhode Island to Maine and Canada with adventures in the North Sea and the Caribbean. Elton played basketball for Brown University and loved hiking, swimming, tennis, and biking.
Most importantly, Elton was a real down-to-earth person. Although highly accomplished, he was humble, thoughtful and gracious, and truly interested in the lives of his family and many close friends. His curiosity about the world was insatiable.
In addition to his wife, Rosalind, Elton leaves his beloved children, Henry Katz and his wife Sofia of New York, Eva Katz and her husband Philip Sugerman of Boston, his stepsons Steven Silverstein and his wife Suzanne of New York and Mark Silverstein and his wife Alyssa of Long Island, and his darling grandchildren Susan Katz, Ari Sugerman, Gabriel Sugerman, Jacob Silverstein, Mara Silverstein, Ashley Silverstein and Jessica Silverstein, and his dear sister-in-law Irene (Ribyat) Sperling who have all greatly enriched his life and he, theirs. Elton was predeceased by his daughter Deborah Katz.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 22 at 11:00 AM in the Chapel at Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford. Following the service, the family will receive relatives and friends at 115 Cliffmore Rd, West Hartford. Memorial donations may be given to Capitol Community College, 950 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103 (Ph: 860-906-5000) or Foodshare, 450 Woodland Ave, Bloomfield, CT 06002 (Ph: 860-286-9999).
The family wishes to thank Elton’s very devoted caregiver, Sandra Johnson.
640 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105
Memorial donations may be given toCapitol Community College950 Main StreetHartford, CT 06103Phone (860-906-5000)or toFoodshare450 Woodland AveBloomfield, CT 06002Phone (860-286-9999)
Following the service, the family will receive relatives and friends at115 Cliffmore RoadWest Hartford,CT