My Dad, Tom Eaton (nee Thomas Ralph Eaton) died on September 23, 2023, after 10 months of aggressive cancer. We were lucky because we were able to spend most of that time together, watching Parker and Ellington grow up, and looking at mountains, waterways and clouds. He left this life, the same way he lived it, on his own terms.
I miss my Dad. He took me hunting and fishing. He taught me how to gut a fish, hammer a nail, do math, build forts, fjord the river, and play sports. We spent endless amounts of time at the ocean, walking the beach, looking for glass floats, rocks and interesting driftwood.
He was the smartest man I ever knew and I always looked up to him and craved his approval even when he was critical. We often fought, probably because I am so much like him – independent, strong-willed, and feisty. But we always made up.
Neither of us are big on conversation, but we had a strong bond nonetheless.
My Dad was a conundrum. He could be the sweetest guy one day, and an asshole the next. He was there for me during some of my darkest moments. He taught me how to forgive and get over being hurt.
He also taught me how to swear! I grew up listening to him cuss up a storm while he worked. One of his favorite phrases was ‘Mickey Mouse c**k s****r m**********r’. I get my potty mouth from him.
I’ll miss listening to him slam our microwave door 100 times a day, muttering ‘piece of shit’ under his breath because he could never figure the appliances out. Despite all that swearing, he was a gentle soul, but you didn’t see that side too often.
His softer side did come out, especially with his granddaughters. I’d catch him letting them get away with things they shouldn’t be doing, slipping them candy and treats, and simply being in awe of their creativity and smarts. I’m so grateful he was such a huge part of their lives. Near the end he kept saying he was a lucky guy. I think we were all lucky.
A few months back Dad had what I’d call one last act of rebellion. He’d been living with us in Port Orchard for about 6 months when he decided he needed to go back to his place in Forks and stay by himself for a while. Mind you – he really should not have been driving a car or living on his own. So against my better judgment, I let him go. After a few days passed, he called and said he got himself into a bit of a pickle (whatever that meant) and he was coming back to our house. I never asked what the issue was, but knew he needed to get it out of his system. After that, he never mentioned going home again.
Born April 9, 1946, to Raymond and Georgia Eaton. My Dad is survived by me (Greta) his only child, his brothers Jim (Chris) Eaton, Micky Eaton, sister Joy Yake and ex-wife Carol Peabody. And lots of other extended family. Other details: born in Port Angeles, raised in Bremerton, went to the University of Washington and almost became a dentist but instead dropped out and started working for ITT Rayonier, eventually becoming an independent log truck driver.
At some point, I’ll have a party for him. Nothing formal or fancy. All Dad would have wanted is for you to crack open a beer and watch the sunset or clouds go by. In the meantime, we’ll be spreading his ashes here and there, in all his favorite spots, and of course, I will be flushing a little bit of his ashes down the toilet, per his request.