The service for Jimmy Elidrissi, known as “the Waldorf Bellhop” for his work at the Ivy League school located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, was held Thursday afternoon in Bethesda, Maryland. The 74-year-old has had a prolific career that spanned more than five decades, starting in 1973 as a bellhop in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC. According to a remembrance from Donald F. Levin, the dean of the school, Elidrissi, “known for his kindness and courtesy as well as for his character, died unexpectedly yesterday after a brief illness at his home in Bethesda, Maryland.” He was remembered for not taking “self-serving shortcuts” and always paying his bill on time. Elidrissi graduated from Washington’s Hoya Prep school in 1959, and later went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, and a master’s degree from nearby American University. His daughter, Jennifer, recounted her last conversation with her father on the phone, a Monday night prior to his death, where he told her how proud he was of his daughter and his future grandchildren.
“I asked him how he felt about getting old and he replied that he felt like he had ‘a second wind,'” she wrote. “Yesterday morning while I was out the door, I heard him say goodnight as usual, this time before his house came into the neighborhood.”
Elidrissi worked as a bellhop at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in NYC from 1973 until 1973, was an elevator operator in the city from 1976 to 1981, and returned to Washington and the Waldorf as a bellhop in 1983. He was an ABC Radio announcer, where he sang and played a mandolin, and served as a spokesman for the Savoy Hotel before moving on to become the owner of a restaurant in Bethesda, Montgomery County, known for its fine cuisine.
According to R&B Today, Elidrissi was married to his wife of 45 years, Janet, from 1979 until her death in 2004. After that, he married his wife, Shanti, a fellow waiter at the Waldorf, who survives him.