RALEIGH, N.C. - Loretta M. Eaton, of 3115 Smith Hollow Road and a former longtime resident of Five Mile Road, Allegany, N.Y., passed away Sunday (March 9, 2014) at the Wakemed Raleigh Campus in Raleigh.
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Born on Feb. 20, 1928, in Bradford, Pa., she was a daughter of Hattie Luella Yale Mason. On May 15, 1948, in Allegany, she married Daniel F. Eaton Sr., who had been a classmate and fellow graduate of Allegany High School. He predeceased her March 20, 1999.
Mrs. Eaton was at first a homemaker. When she and her husband Dan's fourth child arrived, she was a special-needs child. Told to institutionalize her, they instead brought her home and loved her. In trying to find a local school for her, nothing existed at that time. They and several other parents of special-needs children founded the first classroom for mentally disabled children in the area. That first effort grew and expanded into what is now the ReHabilitation Center.
She was a member of St. Bonaventure Church and the Catholic Daughters of America and was the church secretary there for more than 25 years - she loved every minute of it. In addition to her wonderful smile, she also had a beautiful voice and sang in the church choir for a few years.
Family was her priority, and she and Dan were always hosting some kind of party at the farm. Whether it was a family get-together, family reunion, Fourth of July party or Christmas party, there was always that feeling of love, laughter and happiness. Together they loved to take all of their grandchildren out for dinner, spoiling them by letting them order whatever they wanted. At home, family and friends always knew there were her famous sour cream and chocolate chip cookies waiting in the cookie jar. As a wife, mother, grandmother and friend she was a very giving woman who helped with whatever was needed. It is comforting to know she and Dan are finally together, laughing and dancing and watching over all of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Surviving are two sons, Daniel (Reba) Eaton Jr. of Magnolia, Texas, and Patrick (Polly) Eaton Sr. of Allegany; three daughters, Kathryn (Bill) Childs of Bangor, Maine, Margaret Eaton of Allegany and Elaine (Mike) Freeborn of Wake Forest; 12 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; a brother, Jack (Shirley) Mason of Limestone, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband and mother, she was predeceased by her stepfather, John Mason; a son, Michael John Eaton; a granddaughter, Michelle Freeborn-Miller; three sisters and three brothers.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, 3128 W. State Road, Olean, N.Y. A prayer service will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday (March 15, 2014) in the funeral home. A Mass of Christian burial will follow at 9:30 a.m. at St. Bonaventure Church, where the Rev. James Vacco, pastor, will be the celebrant. Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in memory of Loretta be made to the ReHabilitation Foundation, Attn: Eaton Family Memorial, 1439 Buffalo Road, Olean, NY 14760.
Casey Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home
3128 Nys Route 417 W Olean, NY 14760
Published in The Olean Times Herald from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2014