Margery Merriam Eaton of Lake Clarke Shores, Florida, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her loved ones on Monday, April 27, 2020, at the age of ninety-six. Margery was born on April 26, 1924, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the firstborn of Lida Jane Snodgrass Merriam and Robyn Dewey Merriam. She graduated high school in Plymouth, Michigan, and received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at Michigan State University in 1945.
Margery married Frank Levi Eaton on September 27, 1946, at the First Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan. The following year, Margery and Frank moved from Detroit to Panama, where Frank was an engineer for The Panama Canal. In 1951 they moved north to West Palm Beach, Florida, which remained their primary residence.
In college, Margery was active in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She was the founding organizer of Gamma Phi Beta Chapters at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and Michigan State University in East Lansing. One of the earliest members of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach, she served many positions, including Elder and Deacon, and sang in the Lakeside choir for over sixty years. Margery was a founding member and president of the Audubon Society of the Everglades and taught at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. She was a founding member of the Ceramics League of the Palm Beaches, serving as president.
Margery was a lifelong nature enthusiast, environmentalist, and birdwatcher. She logged over 650 bird species on her birding life list. She maintained encyclopedic knowledge of plants and animals and tended diverse home gardens in her homes in West Palm Beach and Lake Toxoway, North Carolina. She was a prolific potter in her home studios and at the Ceramics League of the Palm Beaches.
Margery loved to travel. She visited many countries on trips with her husband Frank, family, and friends. Both of her parents were orphaned as children, and she used these trips to track her genealogy and add to her birding life list.
Margery was very social and maintained a circle of close friends throughout her life. Margery radiated love. She was unflinchingly humble, kind, generous, and nonjudgemental. Her deep faith supported her, her family, and her many friends through crisis and tragedy. She supported dozens of nonprofit organizations through charitable giving.
Margery is survived by her sons Timothy Eaton and Charles Eaton (Valerie), Timothy's daughter Asia Eaton and her sons Otis McGowan and Miles McGowan, Timothy's son Maxwell Eaton, Charles' four sons Jonathan Eaton (Tayla), Mark Eaton, Christopher Eaton (Beth) and their son Theodore Eaton, and Nicholas Eaton. She was predeceased by her loving husband Frank, her younger sisters Sally Newton (Cleon), and Betsy Chapman (Grieg), her son Robyn Eaton (Penny), and their children Christopher Eaton, Chadwick Eaton, China Eaton, and Bradford Eaton.
Instead of flowers, Margery preferred memorial donations to Lakeside Presbyterian Church (4601 S Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach, FL 33405, (561) 833-3756) to be used by the church at its discretion. Arrangements entrusted to National Cremation.
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Published in The Palm Beach Post from May 18 to May 19, 2020.