March 7, 1930 - March 2, 2016
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Eunice was born March 7, 1930 in Stamford, Connecticut. She was the daughter of L. Raymond and Helen Kendall Waterbury, descendants of the first settlers of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York and Long Ridge, Connecticut. She passed away peacefully at home surrounded by the mementos of her life on March 2, 2016 just 5 days prior to her 86th birthday.
She attended school in a one room schoolhouse completing 2 grades per year and left for college at age 16. She graduated from Simmons College, Boston MA. class of 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, and was a Licensed Practical Nurse.
She worked at Northern Westchester Hospital in N.Y. earning money to accomplish her dream of going to the West because she had always wanted to see "what was over the next hill". She got offered a job at Harborview Hospital in Seattle.
When her parents drove her to the airport her father would later say he knew when he watched her board the Boeing Stratocruiser, that she would not come home again to live in the Northeast. He was correct, yet he never tried to stop her from following her dream.
Although part of her heart was always in New England, she remained in the Skagit Valley for the rest of her life after marrying Dr. Fred T. Darvill in 1953 and helping him start his private practice in Mount Vernon.
After her divorce in 1975 a whole new life was opened to her. She had been a volunteer at the Skagit County Historical Museum for years; then became the Curator for the museum in the 1970's eventually becoming the Director of the museum from 1980-1991 when she retired. But she was still not finished! She then volunteered for several years at the Anacortes Museum where she became very involved in researching the Curtis/ Bowman family for a museum project.
She became good friends with her daughter-in-law's mother, Meta Johnson Mehl who was widowed and the two middle aged ladies began a "rest of life" long friendship which included taking road trips every year. They mostly traveled in the southwest stopping at every interesting site along the way and exploring back roads and ghost towns, shopping like tourists, spending nights in sometimes questionable motels along quiet highways, and, of course, stopping each day for their tail gate picnics with wine.
She was adventurous and never turned down an offer to travel even if by flight, however, she preferred travel by car. She loved any and all road trips even if she was not the driver. Her son only had to call her up and say "are you up for a drive to Iowa?" and she'd say "yes!" before asking why or when. She also followed her daughter to Europe and Japan for extended visits.
Mom was an avid hiker and often went out alone if no one was available to join her. She particularly loved the Park Butte area of the Mt. Baker National Forest. When she couldn't hike in the winter, she took daily 3 mile walks around her neighborhood or walked Ebeys Prairie Beach on Whidbey Island and the Skagit River Bend dike. She was still hiking at age 84 often joining her daughter and daughters' friends on their monthly hiking trips!
Mom gracefully transitioned from performing both mother and father roles, to friend and confidant over the years. She was very generous and always there for us whether it was for a loan, or lending a sympathetic ear for a long phone conversation or helping out when someone was sick. She was the only hands on, active grandparent to her 4 grandchildren, filling those shoes very well, and she dearly loved her 3 great grandchildren. After her sister passed away, she did her best to fill the role of substitute mother to her adult nephews also. There is not one of us in the family who isn't saddened at our loss.
It will be difficult to carry on without her at the family gatherings. She loved her family unconditionally, and often said so, and showed it in her actions. We just can't believe she has moved on to her next adventure so soon!
She was predeceased by her parents and her sister Lenna Rae.
She is survived by her children Frederick Darvill (Lauren), Kari Darvill Peterson (Glen); grandchildren Preston Darvill, Sidney Darvill, Kiku Mizuno and Keisuke Mizuno; great-grandchildren Kaya, Trystan, and Olive Darvill; nephews Cameron Stewart (Alyse Axford), Glen Stewart, and Glens children Timothy, Rachael, and Gregory Stewart.
A special thanks to mom's friend Linda Bachman for being there for her when we could not.
A memorial will be held at the Skagit County Historical Museum, La Conner WA. on Saturday June 25, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. It is requested that all those who were touched by this special lady come to her memorial to share and recall fun stories of her life.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Skagit County Historical Museum, Anacortes Museum, or Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald on June 17, 2016