Dan Eaton, 61, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19, 2013 on his sail boat, Misty Isle, while docked in Ketchikan, Alaska. Daniel Joe was born May 10, 1952 to Joe and Mary Eaton of Palco, Kansas.
Dan was extremely loving and proud of his three children, Caleb Eaton, of Kansas City, Missouri, Darci Eaton Mills and daughters Skylar and Ivy of Palco, Kansas and Matthew Eaton and his wife Deborah and daughter Ellie of Lansing, Michigan. He is also survived by his mother, Mary Eaton of Palco, Kansas; brothers, Dale and his wife Lynette Eaton, and Donald and his wife Barbara Eaton of Olathe, Kansas; as well as his many loving aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and other family and friends.
He graduated from Palco High School in 1970 and Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas in 1979 with a degree in Literature/Philosophy.
After graduating from Mid-America, for six and a half years he pastored Christian churches in Powell and Casper, Wyoming, and Billings, Montana. He truly had a heart for the poor and down trodden. A quote from Dan's Facebook page: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs: 9:1. Because of circumstances beyond his control, Dan took a career change into the insurance industry leading his family to reside in Connecticut. Upon his children’s graduation from high school, Dan traded in the suit and tie for what he called his “semi-retirement” lifestyle.
Along with teaching all of his children to love skiing, Dan became a certified ski instructor from 2000 to 2009 and taught for Ski Sundown, Connecticut; the Balsams, in Massachusetts; and Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. He specialized in teaching beginners and small children to love skiing.
In 2004, Dan followed his dreams to work and live in Alaska. For the past 9 years, he worked for Holland America Princess Cruise-lines in Alaska as an instructor/driver and guide in the summer. He enjoyed giving tours, coaching new drivers in “many things, not just related to driving” and cherished every relationship cultivated along the way. He had the ability to easily communicate and relate with people with all levels of backgrounds and situations. While in Alaska, he also enjoyed his sail boat, the Misty Isle, of which he was living on and was lovingly restoring in his time off.
Dan was a renaissance man who enjoyed a plethora of amusements and was always one ready for the next adventure. He loved to sail, fish, ski, hunt, travel, read, write, have philosophical discussions, and design and construct gingerbread houses with his children and grandchildren. In his later years he was also a fantastic bartender and an avid artist and student of Alaskan art, culture and history. As much as he enjoyed life, he enjoyed seeing his children do the same.
Dan had a gift of dreaming big. He always desired to see greater things. His hope in the future for his family, friends and the world will be forever cherished and missed. His legacy of loving and looking forward will continue on.
A post from his Facebook wall on May 11th: "Note to self: Live every day to its fullest. No warranty on time allotted."
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