Bill Eaton


(Apr. 3, 2006)

William Joseph (Bill) Eaton died Monday, April 3 at Powell Valley Care Center at the age of 92.

He was born in Dodson, Mont., on Oct. 12, 1913, to Sestline (Marcott) of Canada and William Eaton of Detroit, Mich. He moved to Powell with his mother, brother Henry and step-father, Pat Flynn, when he was 14. Pat Flynn started the Silver Tip Coal Mine in Elk Basin with help from Bill and Henry.

Bill met his future wife, Mae I. (Herboldsheimer) of Powell, at a dance in 1932, and they were married March 28, 1933 in Billings, Mont. To this union were born seven children. Bill and Mae celebrated their 72nd anniversary last year at Powell Valley Care Center.

Bill worked in the mines, helped build the Willwood Canal, the Heart Mountain Canal and the Cody tunnels. He built some houses in Powell and had a cement, stucco and plaster business. He and his wife loved to dance, socialize and hunt and fish. Together they raised a large garden and sold minnows and other bait. Bill played Santa Claus for about 35 years around Powell and was an avid collector.

Survivors include five children still living in Powell: Virginia Cheney, William Leroy Eaton, Patricia Cothren, Rose M. (Delbert) Cannon and Dan D. Eaton; 14 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife Mae; his brother, Henry Flynn; two sons, William Ellis and Thomas Allen; his granddaughter, Deborah deHaan; and two great-grandsons, Olen T. Braa and Casey (Rowdy) James Cannon.

Cremation has taken place with Ballard Funeral Home of Cody handling the arrangements. The Rev. Susan Adam Trembath will officiate at a memorial service at the Methodist Church in Powell on Friday, April 7 at 10:30 a.m. with burial of remains at Crown Hill Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the Methodist Church.

Bill was loved by his family and friends and will be missed greatly for his friendship and his many adventure stories.