Funeral services set for Taneytown father, son killed in crash

August 11, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff reporter Joe Mathews contributed to this article.

They repaired cars together, they hunted together and, on Saturday, Delbert Eaton Sr., 72, and Delbert Eaton Jr., 47, of Taneytown, will be laid to rest together.

"They were hunters, both of them. Hunted deer, hunted squirrel, rabbits. They loved to hunt," Muriel Eaton said of her husband and son. "And work on cars -- messing with them, repairing them. They did that sort of thing."

The men were killed Tuesday in a four-vehicle crash in West Virginia while on their way to visit the senior Eaton's brother, Claude Eaton of Stephens City, Va.

Services for father and son are to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Haight Funeral Home, Route 32 near Eldersburg.

The Eatons, traveling south on U.S. 340 about 11:20 a.m., had stopped behind a Ford pickup truck at a traffic light when a tractor-trailer, also heading south, rode over their vehicle, said Sgt. Sid Sponaugle, the West Virginia state police officer at the scene.

The pickup truck was knocked forward and hit a fourth vehicle, the sergeant said.

Five people suffered minor injuries and were treated at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Charles Town and released, police said.

The tractor-trailer driver, James Lord, 44, of Roanoke, Va., was not injured.

Taneytown police informed Mrs. Eaton of the accident about 3 p.m., she said.

Fondly recalling her husband and son, the former Muriel Todd of Baltimore said she met "Del Sr.," a West Virginia native, when he came to work with his father and brother at the shipyards during World War II.

"I was just sitting around on the steps, and he walks by, and we just started talking," she said, laughing. "That's the way you met back then."

In October 1942, Mr. Eaton -- who would become her husband a year later -- enlisted in the Army and began a four-year tour that took him to the South Pacific.

While he was overseas for about 1 1/2 years, Mrs. Eaton and their first child, Linda, lived in West Baltimore with Mrs. Eaton's parents.

"Del Jr." was the couple's second child, born in Martinsburg, W.Va., a year after his father came home from the service.

The family moved to Elkridge in 1958, and the children attended school there, Mrs. Eaton said.

The senior Eaton was a fence installer with Sears, Roebuck & Co. He retired for medical reasons in 1974.

In 1982, he had the first of two heart valve replacements. He had the second operation two years ago.

"There really wasn't that much he could do after that, but he did try," said Mrs. Eaton. "He would do some of the car work, then put it down, pick it up, then go back to it. That's just the way he'd handle it."

Delbert Eaton Jr., a 1965 Howard High School graduate, joined the Army and served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He was a free-lance backhoe operator for more than 10 years. His seasonal work took him throughout Howard, Baltimore and Carroll counties.

Mrs. Eaton said the family moved to its Taneytown home six years ago from Elkridge because "they were putting in a new road, and we figured it would be more country out here. But it's growing here, too."

The Eaton men are also survived by Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Eaton Sr.'s children, Linda Baier of Woodbine; David Eaton and Marlene German of Elkridge; Sandra Dennison of Pasadena; and Howard Eaton, at home.

Other survivors include the senior Eaton's other brother, Claude Eaton, and Elwood Eaton of Gainesville, Va.; and a sister, Claudine Weaver of Hanover, Pa.

Delbert Sr. had nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Delbert Eaton Jr.'s only child, Angela Mills, 21, lives in Virginia.

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