Grace Mary Perry VanEaton, 99, was born on a farm in Livingston County near Blue Mound, MO to Elmer E. and Mary Annie Jones Perry November 7, 1912, on her mother’s 30th birthday. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in summer school at Kirksville, earning a temporary teaching certificate. She taught grade school that fall and she rode a horse to get there. Some of her students were older than she. While attending college, she met and married Neal VanEaton. They married on May 22, 1938. Grace was a graduate of Dawn High School and Northeast Missouri Teacher’s College at Kirksville. (Now Truman State University.) She was a member of several organizations including the Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, the local teachers association and was a lifetime member of the Missouri State Teacher’s Association. Grace was an RSVP volunteer and a member of the Order of Eastern Star. She was also an active member of the First Baptist Church where, in the past, she served as president, outreach leader and secretary of her Sunday School Class. Besides farming, she taught elementary school for 37 years. Her professional experiences included teaching at “one room” schools in rural Livingston County including Condron, Asper, and Oak Grove. Grace was a “founding Faculty member” at Field Elementary and taught there many years until her retirement. She always enjoyed visits with former students and many of them credited her with “Inspiring them to be successful in life”. In addition to her husband, Neal, she was also preceded in death by her parents and sisters; Ethel Perry, Esther Steele and Ruth McKerrow.
Grace is lovingly remembered by her son Earl and his wife, Jackie, grandson John and his wife Elaina, great grandson Preston, grandson David and his wife Brandy and their children Jessica and Sean. She is also survived by her son Fred and his wife Marianne, granddaughters Cynthia Donaldson and Marsha Lake, and great grandchildren Heather and Aaron Lake. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, John Steele, Paul Steele, Ruth Ann Steele, Joe McKerrow, Margret Dyer, and Jane Dunn and several grand nieces and nephews.
Grace was very thankful for the special love and care provided by her family including her niece, Ruth Ann Steele, and the staff at the Baptist Home. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Her arms could spread wide to embrace her family and went well beyond those directly related to her.
Memorials in honor of Grace VanEaton may be made to the Welsh Cemetery or the First Baptist Church and left at the funeral home or mailed to Heritage Funeral Home, 3141 N. Washington, Chillicothe, MO 64601. On line condolences may be left at www.heritage-becausewecare.com .
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, January 9, 2012 at First Baptist Church, Chillicothe, MO.
Burial will be at the Welsh Cemetery, Dawn, MO.
A visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe, MO
Arrangements are under the direction of Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe, MO