Eaton, Harrison W.
Harrison W. Eaton of Sullivan, Missouri, former owner and operator of the Eaton Funeral Home and retired inspector/investigator for the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and bugler for the Missouri Military Funeral Honors, passed away at his home on Friday, July 20, 2012 at the age of 75 years.
Harry was born at Granite City, Illinois on October 22, 1936 to Harrison M. and Ethel M. (Trout) Eaton. In 1948, the family moved to Sullivan, Missouri where Harry’s father started a funeral business. He joined his father in 1957 and they worked together until 1974 when Harry bought the business upon his father’s retirement. In 1984, Harry retired and was later employed by the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors as an inspector/investigator. He worked for the Board until 2000 when he retired for a second time. Never to sit idle, Harry obtained a license to represent Capital Reserve Insurance Company selling pre-arrangement insurance to funeral homes throughout the state. He worked in this endeavor part-time until 2003. It was at this time that his true passion to serve his fellow man blossomed. In 2003, he was auditioned and certified by Colonel Wayne Medley as a bugler for Missouri Military Funeral Honors. Harry was known throughout the State as a bugler who was honored and humbled to perform Taps as each and every service. Since being certified, he had performed Taps 1,194 times and had driven from his home in Sullivan to service locations some 73,849 miles. He was honored at the Fort Leonard Wood Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day of 2011, for being the first bugler to play Taps for a service in this new cemetery. Harry began playing the trumpet at the age of nine. He first played Taps at the age of twelve for a killed-in-action Army soldier whose remains were returned home for burial. He would take weekly trips by train from Sullivan to St. Louis for trumpet lessons. This he did until his high school years.
Everyone who met Harry recognized his sincerity and honesty. He never met a stranger and was respectful and kind to all. He seemed to inherently know the right thing to say to anyone under any circumstance in order to put them at ease or lessen their pain. Harry always had a unique perspective.
Harry spent many happy hours on the golf course with his buddies. In 1997, he won the “A” flight Championship at the Sullivan Country Club and he later achieved his first hole-in-one. He became a pilot later in life and said that it was such a sense of release to get into the air and feel that freedom of being untethered. In later years, he enjoyed traveling and making friends in other states and other countries. Harry had the opportunity to play the trumpet in an informal setting with an acquaintance in France and he was bowled over by the fact that “with music there is no language barrier”. He also had the opportunity to play with the St. Louis Symphony for two years in their Summer Pops Series.
Harry was first married to Norma Dillingham and to this marriage two children were born. This marriage however, ended in divorce in 1983. On October 3, 1997 he was married to Kathleen Boulay. Harry’s family was his life. He loved fully and unconditionally and his family knew the full extent of his love every day and he projected it with every word and gesture. That love was returned in great quantities.
Harry’s friends were vast in number and genuine in nature. He enjoyed nothing more than fun and fellowship. He was always good for a quip that would come seemingly out of nowhere and leave everyone laughing.
Harry was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Sullivan, 50 year member of Sullivan Lodge 69, A.F. & A.M., 30 year member of I.O.O.F. Lodge 156 of Sullivan, Fraternal Order of Eagles of Sullivan, V.F.W. Post of Union, Missouri, Past District President of the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association. He honorably served his country with the U.S. Army attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.
He is survived by his wife; Kathleen of the family home; daughters, Laura Stolte and husband Mike of Overland Park, Kansas, Lisa Dickson and husband Brian of Rogersville, Missouri, Carolyn Cross and husband Jim of Sullivan; sons, H. Kent Eaton and wife Carolyn of Newnan, Georgia and Joel Reed and wife Amy of Weslaco, Texas; one sister, Mary Eleanor Farrell and husband Dr. Sam of Washington, Missouri; three brothers, Chuck Eaton and wife Marcia of Amston, Connecticut, Jim Eaton and wife Mary Ann of Sullivan, John Eaton and wife Carol of Cape Girardeau, Missouri; 10 grandchildren, Jennifer, Nicole and Rachel Stolte, Gregory and Nicholas Eaton, Ryan and Hannah Dickson, Benjamin and Andrew Cross and Kimberly Reed; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Memorial funeral services were conducted at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2012 from the Eaton Funeral Home in Sullivan with the Rev. Kaileen Hogan-Brink and Pastor Scott Perry officiating. Visitation was held on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the Eaton Funeral Home in Sullivan. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the First Presbyterian Church Building Fund or the American Cancer Society. On-line condolences may be offered at eatonfuneralhome.com
Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Eaton Funeral Home, Sullivan, Missouri
1:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2012 from the Eaton funeral Home, Sullivan, Missouri
First Presbyterian Church Building Fund or the American Cancer Society
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