Susan's Story

Augusta - Susan Marie Eaton, "Susie," died at home on August 22, 2016. Susan was born on January 17, 1959, to Kenneth and the late Patricia Pelkey Eaton.
Soon after her birth, her family moved to California; then Taiwan while her father served his country and fought in Vietnam as an aviation commander and helicopter pilot. Susan attended schools in Taiwan and later Newport News, Virginia. She earned her bachelor's of science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and then studied at San Diego State University where she received her Masters of Social Work (MSW).
Susan moved to California immediately following her college graduation. She worked most of her professional life as a medical social worker at the Naval Medical Center (Hospital) San Diego where she worked for countless veterans and their families in need; and where she was commended by the hospital's admiral for her acts of responsibility, sense of humor and kindness above and beyond.
She moved to Maine in 2013 and worked at Togus VA Hospital in Augusta, ME. She said it was one of the happiest days of her life when she returned to Maine. As a child, she loved visiting her grandparents Lilla and Crosby Eaton in Corinna, Maine and cherished much laughter and carefree times with her cousins at the camp of her Aunt Rain and Uncle Carl on Lake Wassookeag.
At the time of her death, Susan had recently retired and was living a quiet life with her cat Cobby, named after her grandfather. As an animal lover, she believed nature is God's art and a great source of comfort. From an early age and with all her heart and soul, she believed in a loving, forgiving and compassionate God.
She is survived and greatly missed by her loving father, Kenneth and his longtime partner, Carla Cahoon in Mystic, CT; her protective sister, DeAnna, with her husband Peter Hartel in Dexter, ME; her steadfast supporters Aunt Rain and Uncle Carl Palmer of Exeter, ME and cousins: Reg Palmer, Rick Palmer, Bonnie Martin, Brenda L. Crane, Wendi Gwinn; in addition to her Taiwan and Californian friends: Kelly Rainbolt, Leigh Langston, Kevin McNamara, Cathy McNamara; and her dearest lifelong friends: Joan and Michael Garrett and four sons. Thank you for all who have reached out with kindness and written memories from Susie's colleagues and friends in California.
In honoring her request, there will be no funeral for Susan. A memorial service will be held to celebrate her life on a later date.
Those seeking to remember Susan in a meaningful way are encouraged to make donations to the Oliver Sacks Foundation (www.oliversacks.com). Susan loved to read historical, biographical, scientific and inspirational books; and deeply supported research that paves the way for the early understanding, recognition and intervention of neurodevelopmental and cognitive disorders including autism and social anxiety. Any messages or memories can be mailed to DeAnna Eaton Hartel 167 Shore Road Dexter ME 04930.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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