William M. “Bill” Eaton, 73, passed away Jan. 4, 2021, after a brief battle with cancer. He was born Dec. 14, 1947, in Seattle, Wash., and adopted at birth by Frank F. Eaton and Annabel “Anne” M. (Buchanan) Eaton, of Chehalis, Wash. A lifetime resident of Lewis County (except for a brief stint in Alaska), Bill graduated from W.F. West High School in 1966, and Centralia Community College in 1968.
While in high school, Bill played baseball and hot rodded several cars, including a prized 1957 Chevy. His love of classic cars continued throughout his life. Over the decades, Bill owned and restored dozens of classic cars and trucks (particularly ’55-’57 Chevys), and always loved hunting down rare parts. He also had a passion for music. In his retirement, Bill reignited his interest in playing guitar, and wrote music and lyrics for over thirty songs, mostly acoustic blues.
In his earlier years, Bill worked a variety of jobs, including serving as a firefighter for the Forestry Dept. for two summers. His primary employment included extended tenures as a land surveyor for the state of Washington and as a mill worker at Wayne Dalton in Centralia. Whatever Bill was doing, he committed himself to it fully, and thereby instilled in his children a strong work ethic. He is fondly remembered by them for his love of old cars, sly sense of humor, and commitment to his family.
He is survived by his sons, William M. “Mike” Eaton Jr. of Centralia, and Marc A. Eaton (spouse: Mary Unger), of Oshkosh, Wis.; and three grandchildren, Simona B. Eaton of Centralia and Andrew W. Eaton and Daniel J. Eaton of Oshkosh.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Frank in 1977; and Anne in 1985.
A graveside memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, at Mountain View Cemetery, 1113 Caveness Dr., Centralia. Due to Covid restrictions, masks and social distancing are required and no reception will be held following the service.