Fred G. Eaton, Jr., 92, passed away Saturday, September 10, 2016 at a Millinocket hospital with his wife by his side. He was born September 2, 1924 in Pittsfield, the son of Fred G. and Analaide C. (Smith) Eaton.
Fred grew up in Pittsfield and Augusta, and was a graduate of Cony High School, class of 1942, where he played football. After attending a semester of college at the University of Maine, Fred enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he qualified for pilot training, and eventually was trained to navigate a B-24 "Liberator", was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and was assigned a 10 member crew. While trained for missions in the Pacific theatre of operations, the war ended before they were assigned any combat. After the war, Fred completed his studies at Bowdoin College with a degree in math, and then worked for Bates Manufacturing for nine years and then spent a year working for the state of Maine in industrial development. While working for the state, his major achievement was convincing Pride Manufacturing, then located in Tampa, Florida, to move its operations to Guilford, Maine. Following his time spent working for Maine, he took a job working with the Great Northern Paper Company in Millinocket in 1957, where he stayed for the remainder of his working career and raised his family, before retiring in 1986 with 29 years of service. When he retired, he was Pay Master at the mill, after having also worked as Plant Accountant and as Core Supervisor. In 1954, he met Betsey Fales, and they were married later that same year. Betsey shared Fred's love of fishing and the outdoors, and it made for a long (62 years!) and happy marriage. Fred was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Millinocket for over 45 years, having served as a deacon and a trustee, has been a long time member of the Fin and Feather Club of Millinocket, and was a past director of the Katahdin Federal Credit Union. When he wasn't fly fishing or tracking a deer, he could often be found participating in the Boy Scouts or teaching hunter safety courses. He often shared his stories at Levasseur's Hardware, and loved spending time at the "upper camp" on the Pleasant River. Fred lived a full life, and will be fondly remembered by all whose life he touched.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Betsey (Fales) Eaton of Millinocket; five children, Fred G. "Chip" Eaton of Salem, Ohio, Dale Arthur Eaton of Lincoln, Jane E. Gabriel and her husband Ray of Canton, Ohio, Ethel B. Lange and her husband Col. John Lange of Carrollton, Virginia, and Daniel G. Eaton and his wife Lisa of Portland, Connecticut; eight grandchildren, Jeffrey, Andrew, and Timmy Eaton, Bradley Gabriel and his wife Katrina, Ava McNemar and her husband Brian, Rachel and Joshua Lange, and Alexis Eaton; two great grandchildren, Zoe and Liam Gabriel; a sister, Caroline Field and her husband Edwin of Lexington, Massachusetts; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Fred will also be missed by his two best friends, with whom he shared many fond memories fishing and hunting, George Peckham and Richard Jordan. In addition to his parents, Fred was predeceased by a sister, Mabel Peterson.
The family would like to express a sincere thank you to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Millinocket Regional Hospital for the outstanding care, attentive compassion, and extraordinary courtesies extended to Fred and his family during his final.
Friends are invited to visit with the family 12-2:30 P.M. Thursday, September 15 at the Lamson Funeral Home, 11 Tamarack Street, Millinocket, where a funeral service will be held at 2:30 with the Rev. Terry Given officiating. Private interment will be at the Maine Veteran's Cemetery in Augusta at a later date. Gifts in memory of Fred may be sent to the Memorial Fund at the First Congregational Chruch of Millinocket, P.O. Box 507, Millinocket, ME 04462. Messages of condolence may be expressed at www.lamsonfh.com.