Mary Elizabeth “Mac” Eaton- “Loving Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Aunt, Teacher, and Friend”
Allegany- Mary Elizabeth “Mac” Eaton, passed away peacefully on Wednesday (January 12, 2022) at her home, surrounded by her family.
Born January 6, 1926, at the West End Hospital in Olean, she was the daughter of the late, James “Shine” and Romaine Griffin McLaughlin. On November 10, 1951, at St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, she married Joseph L. Eaton, who predeceased her on April 28, 2010.
Mary Elizabeth grew up in Allegany, where she attended St. Bonaventure Parochial School, and then graduated from the former St. Elizabeth’s Academy in Allegany. She graduated from Villa Maria College in Erie, PA., with a Bachelor of Science in business education. She then received her master’s degree in education from St. Bonaventure University.
Mary Elizabeth began her teaching career in 1949 at the Old Portville Central School on Main Street, then continued as a business and secretarial teacher for the Portville Central School until her retirement in 1989. She will be remembered as someone that believed in you, even when you didn’t believe in yourself. After retirement, she and Joe traveled during the winter season and looked forward to spending time with family and friends in Kentucky and Florida.
She was a member and Eucharistic Minister at the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church and its Altar Rosary Society of Portville, and later at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.
Mary Elizabeth held offices and participated in Camp Fire and was a life member of the Portville PTA. She was involved with the Portville Central School Ski Club and proudly learned to ski at the age of 45. She was a charter member of Beta Epsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional organization of Key Women Educators. In 1971, Mary Elizabeth was one of the original planners for the Cattaraugus County National Honor Society Banquet, which still continues after more than 30 years, and has a scholarship awarded in her name each year to a deserving senior. She was also inducted in the Portville Central School Hall of Fame.
Mary Elizabeth was very proud of her Irish heritage and loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with her family and friends. Kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland was the highlight of a trip to Ireland for her. Mary Elizabeth enjoyed camping with family and friends, especially with the Hi Flyers, watching the Buffalo Bills, and most of all spending time with her family.
Surviving are her six children; Kathleen Sprague of Portville, Elizabeth (Jack) Whipple, Jr., of Olean, Eileen (Thomas) Cucchiaro of Cuba, Joseph M. Eaton of Allegany, Patricia (John) Passerino of Allegany, and John (Wendy) Eaton of Portville; nine grandchildren, Stephanie (Matthew) Vossler, Laura (Andrew) Lee, Anthony (Elizabeth) Passerino, Dominic Passerino, Alex Whipple, Jeremy (Meghan) Payne, Sean Eaton, Allison “Moon” Eaton, and Shawn (Cheri) Andrews; She was known as Gigi by her great-grandchildren, Bryson Payne, Ava Vossler, Adalyn Passerino, Jacob, Nathaniel, Colton, Ariadne, and Joshua Andrews; one sister-in-law, Ann Eaton of Louisville, KY; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins, who were all special to her.
In addition to her parents, and husband, Mary Elizabeth was predeceased by; three sisters, Geraldine McLaughlin, Celestine Welch, and Anne Kane; seven brothers-in-law, Chester Welch, James Kane, Basil Eaton, Robert Eaton, Steve Eaton, Richard “Dick” Eaton, and Jack Eaton.
Friends will be received at the Guenther Funeral Home, Inc., 1303 E. State Street on Sunday from 2-5pm. Visitation will continue on Monday (January 17, 2022) from 10am-11am at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11am. Her funeral service will be live streamed at www.smaolean.org, for those unable to attend. Covid safety protocols will be followed. Burial will follow at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany.
A celebration of Mary Elizabeth’s Life will also be held and announced at a later date.
Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Kevin Guest House, 782 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, the Portville Free Library, 2 N. Main Street, Portville, NY 14770, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
If you would like to express a condolence of share a story about Mary Elizabeth, please visit, www.guentherfh.com.