John Jay Eaton, 87, of Rensselaer, was born into this world on April 5, 1933 in Muncie, Ind. to Thelma Isabel (Pence) and Rev. Claude J. Eaton. He left this world on June 21, 2020 after a short battle with cancer to begin his new life with Jesus in the heavenly home God has prepared for him. He was welcomed there by loving family members who have gone before him.
Because John’s father was a Methodist minister, John lived in several towns in north central Indiana. His family also spent one year serving at the Frake’s boarding school in Ken-tucky. John attended Wingate High School, but graduated from Pittsboro High School in 1951 and became an active member of both alumni groups. He looked forward to attending reunions held each year.
While serving in the U.S. Army for two years, John was stationed in Germany. After graduating with an Education Degree from Ball State, he returned to Germany for a year to teach the children of military personnel. John’s teaching career spanned 40 years with the majority spent in Rensselaer, Ind. where he retired as the Middle School guidance counselor. He is remembered fondly by many of his middle grade students as someone who took a personal interest in their learning. Many of his students became his friends as they moved into adulthood.
John was also a leader in the Lay Witness movement in the 1970s and 80s where many additional friendships were formed and continued to grow over the years. The Lay Witness movement was a revival of lay people within a church desiring a deeper spiritual walk. When requested, a Lay Witness Team was assembled to share their faith journey as lay people with the lay people of the host church. Folks often traveled many miles to be a part of this weekend experience.
John had a wonderful tenor singing voice and as children he and his brother, Donald, would often sing duets in their dad’s churches for special occasions. Their favorite song was “Life is Like a Mountain Railroad.” As an adult, John was invited to many churches presenting his father’s slides and music program. Claude was an amateur photographer who used many of his pictures combined with inspirational music to present the gospel message.
John never married or had children, but he left behind family members who loved him and included him in all the family celebrations and travels. His two younger brothers are Donald E. Eaton (wife, Beverly, deceased) in Hebron, Ind. and Glen M. (wife Linda) Eaton in Elwood, Ind. A cousin, Jim (wife Vera) Jackson lives in Portland, Ind. John was a special uncle to Holly Eaton, daughter of Donald; and Monica Eaton, Eric (wife Raegan) Eaton, and Wendy (husband Yucel) Parsak, children of Glen. He was the great-uncle to Yasemin and Yeliz Parsak from West Lafayette, Ind.
Several years ago, John registered to donate his remains to the I.U. School of Medicine so his body would be used for teaching, even in death. Per his wishes, no services will take place. John’s remains will be buried in Osborne Cemetery east of Rensse-laer.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood.
Memorial contributions may be made to Samaritan’s Purse through the funeral home.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at copherfeslermay.com.