Delmont (Del) Bird Eaton passed away quietly on July 14, 2022 in his home. He was born on March 3, 1934 in Kansas City, Mo., and adopted by Everett Hall Eaton and Carol Bird Eaton of Evanston, Ill. He was preceded in death by both parents and spent his retirement years in the beautiful town of Rhinelander. His ashes were interred with military funeral honors on Aug. 23, 2022 in the Northwoods National Cemetery in Harshaw. Memories are planned to be included in the online digital Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) as appropriate materials are made available.
Del graduated from Weslaco High school in 1952 and was inducted into the Army in 1954 in Hidalgo,Texas at age 20 after two years of college. He was stationed in South Korea as an Artillery Survey Specialist, and was honorably discharged into the United States Army Reserves in 1956 with the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Del finished college with a BA in Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho in 1961 and spent many years in both the United States and around the world employed by Honeywell International Inc. He was a senior supervising engineer in many major construction sites, which included designing the launching pad for one of the Apollo missions from Cape Canaveral, building the scaffolding for a multi-storied building in Singapore, and supervising the construction of a major brewery in the Midwest.
He was also involved in construction of various missile silos in the United States. He had a special interest in spending several months every year in Thailand, where he enjoyed the people, language, and country, which he referred to as his Land of Smiles. He made his home over the years living in many states during tours of work, at one time having houses in both Texas and Florida, until 1989, when he settled permanently in Rhinelander. He had in previous years enjoyed many experiences with his parents and friends in Wisconsin. At age 65 Del received windfalls first from the Social Security Administration and then from his Honeywell pension. In his colorful way, he would tell his friends that he then "had enough money to burn a wet mule." He thoroughly enjoyed his Culebra and then Rosa Cuba cigars and a beer or two to go along with them.
Del also grew up spending near-annual summer weeks with his cousins, his aunt, and his father's younger brother, Robert M. Eaton, at Big Bass Lake near Irons, Mich. He had planned to join them again for the latest reunion when he fell ill with heart arrhythmias. His friends in Rhinelander and a frequent travel companion from Arizona were very special to him, and his friendships were invaluable in his final years.
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