Former owner of Mo Wallace BBQ dies at 47

James W. Elliott, the previous owner of Mo Wallace BBQ and More who was better known as “Mo Wallace,” died at his home April 1. He was 47. 

Elliott, who owned the barbecue restaurant with his wife in Carbondale before it shut down in September because of a decline in sales, “became ill with multiple health problems,” his wife Andrea Taylor wrote on a page she set up for funeral costs. He was found not breathing by his 10-year-old son, she said. 

“He was my husband and best friend for 28 years and we were planning on sitting in rocking chairs in our old age together,” Taylor wrote on the page. 


MORE: I talked with Elliot for 45 minutes, but really, Elliot talked to me

Services were Friday morning at the Jackson Funeral Home in Carbondale. 

Elliott prepared and smoked meat for more than six years. It was a family affair at his restaurant, with Elliot’s wife preparing side-dishes and his daughter helping with the cash register.

He attributed his exceptional cooking skills to his parents. As a child, he would observe his mom and dad cook and imitate their exact motions.

“My mom used to tell me, ‘Boy, you are watching me like the police,’” he told the Daily Egyptian in February 2015. “I could not help it because I had never seen anyone cook like she did.”

Many college students considered Elliott’s restaurant a secret spot where they could find quality food. Elliot thanked them immensely for it, he once said.

“Don’t you feel it, the righteousness? You feel it on your arms? I know you can feel it,” he said in September. “Just stand here and take it in. I am so blessed. I thank the Lord every day.”


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