Ralph C. Eaton passed on February 25, 2021, at the Medical Center. He was born on September 5, 1931 in Whitley County, Kentucky to Opie Eva and Robert Henry Eaton. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Bernice Clark Eaton and his second wife, Janus Benson Eaton. He was preceded in death by his five siblings: Iva Eaton, Eula Eaton, Beulah Eaton Bizzack (Lewis), T. J. Eaton (Margery), Paul Eaton, and a precious daughter, Joanna Clark Eaton Harris. He is survived by his present wife of 41 years, Elizabeth Anne (Massey) Eaton, and two precious daughters: Cassandra Eaton Meredith, of Morgantown, KY, and Carla Jayanne Eaton of Boston, MA. Other survivors include one precious brother, Bill Eaton of Madisonville, KY and three grandchildren, Scott Meredith (Tina) of Dunbar, KY, Joshua and Dustin Harris of St. Louis, MO, and two great grandchildren, Daniel and Allie Meredith of Dunbar, Ky. He is survived by two nephews; Gary Bizzack of Lexington, KY, and Bob Eaton of Louisville, KY, and three nieces; Carolyn Childress of Louisville, KY, Julie Blades (Andrew) of Madisonville, KY, and Jana Tryor (Gregory) of Newburg, IN. He is also survived by her present mother-in-law, Florence Massey, and a brother-in-law, Roy Massey, both of Smiths Grove, KY.
Ralph was a Southern Missionary Baptist and had been since he was 12 years old. He was a member of Woodbine Baptist Church and Morgantown Baptist Church. He attended High School in Whitley, County. He graduated at 16 years old as valedictorian. He was an avid reader. He loved and wrote poetry. His favorite poem was "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. Ralph was always saying "he had many more miles to go." Ralph had a passion for classical music especially the Chopin Waltzes. While in high school, he participated in all sports. He attended Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY, and received a degree from the Medical Technical School in Louisville, KY. Less than a week after graduating, he went to work for Dr. Miller (Morgantown). He worked in the lab and x-ray department. He continued this work for 22 years and was featured on NBC and received state and national recognition being an employee of a doctor's office that had the only lab between Elizabethtown and Nashville. He was also featured in an article in the Saturday Evening Post as Ralph Eaton, the "soft-spoken" young, certified technician whose results all hospitals could accept. He completed military service (Army) from 1953 to 1955. He was discharged as a Corporal E-5.
Ralph, while in his early twenties was interim mayor of Morgantown and while in his early twenties, he was President of the Jaycees.
Ralph was a major owner of Lakeview Nursing Home (Morgantown, KY). He held the position of Administrator for 30 years from 1966—1996. He was described by former employees as humorous, witty, well-spoken with unlimited intelligence. After retiring from Lakeview, he was a board member of four banks as a part of Albany Bancorp, Inc. He was also a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch, Bowling Green, KY.
Ralph had a great passion for politics. He had a strong sense of right and wrong. He always said, "if everyone practiced the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", politics would probably be obsolete." Ralph had a kind heart and gentle soul; he would give the shirt off of his back to help a person in need. He loved America and often quoted JFK's quote "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
Other than God, family, country and politics, Ralph had a great love for gardening and tending over a 100 rose bushes of twenty varieties. He called his backyard "The Garden of Eaton."
In 2016, Ralph was honored by the Hall of Fame Café of Morgantown, KY. He was honored for Entrepreneur and Professional Accomplishments. They stated, "if success and hard work is the measure of a man, then Ralph Eaton is a very successful man." For his accomplishments, he was presented a Kentucky Colonels certificate by the former State Representative, Woody Allen.
Ralph will be remembered by his family and friends for his bright smile and hearty laughter, his kind heart and gentle soul. The world will be a little less brighter now—but Ralph would say "Go on " "Go on", "you have many more miles to go!"
Friends and family may pay their respects to Ms. Elizabeth & family on Monday, from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Hardy & Son Funeral Home, Bowling Green Chapel. Visitation will continue Tuesday, from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. The service will be held on Tuesday, at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be in Otter Gap Cemetery. Those that wish to visit the funeral home should have the proper mask or facial covering and maintain social distance while inside the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Salvation Army or Hosparus Health of Barren River.
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