Katherine Cecilia Eaton

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Katherine Cecilia Eaton, 78, of Panama City Beach, Fla., died peacefully at home in her sleep on Tuesday, April 30.

Kathy, a longtime resident of Sussex County, was born in Nazareth, Pa., on Nov. 1, 1934, to Anna and William Mertz.

She received her undergraduate degree from East Stroudsburg and her master's degree from Lehigh University, both in elementary education. She taught for more than 30 years in such diverse places as the Walt Disney School in Levittown, Pa.; Okinawa, Japan; and most recently Fredon Elementary School from whence she retired. Kathy was an inspirational teacher and her classrooms were never boring places.

Kathy was an accomplished singer, actor and world traveler. She was crowned Miss Pocono in 1956 and her famous "wine chicken" is still recognized today as a culinary masterpiece.

Kathy was a teacher, a mother and a friend and will truly be missed, especially her irreverent sense of humor.

She is survived by her daughter Susan Kruger, her husband Tom, and their three children Thomas, Emily and Nicholas; her son Mark Eaton, his wife Rebecca and their son Will; and her son Michael Eaton, his wife Dana and their children Lynsey and Dawson. She also leaves behind her sister, Mary, and her brother, Bill.

A celebration of her life will be held Sunday, June 2, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Newton VFW.

Published in The New Jersey Herald on May 19, 2013