Ercel Eaton

10/26/1929 - 06/21/2019

Obituary for Ercel Eaton

Ercel Stidham Eaton passed away June 20, 2019. She is survived by her two daughters, three grandchildren and many, many friends and family. Ercel was born in 1929 in Leslie County, KY and spent a large part of her journalism career (forty-three years at the “Hamilton Journal News”) writing about the mountain culture and history that she loved so dearly. Ercel will be remembered for the infinite size of her heart and her immense compassion. As one of her many fans said about her, “She was the heart of the community.” In lieu of flowers, please send donations to help launch The Virginia Budge Award for the Creative Arts’ new Special Needs category. Make checks out to Virginia Budge Award and send to 2548 Resor Rd. Fairfield, OH 45014.

Years ago, in anticipation of her own passing, Ercel wrote this to us all:

To My Loved Ones

If it is true that silver-streamered souls
Flit ceaselessly about our air
Gazing with grief or gladness
At our life upon beyond this spinning globe;
If it is true that light and airy scraps
Of eternity contain the mind, the heart,
The soul beyond the faded breath;

If it is true that I, who love you more than life
Can know about your world, your pain
And your delights.
If it is true that I can linger
In my gauzy nothing of a gown; If I am
Given time to find you, wherever
Your life leads you on this earth
(And who’s to say I can’t cross continents
and seas at will with no earth-time spent.)

If it is true that my soul sings onward
Toward the finest of the fine and knows
So many answers to questions
We could never solve…

Then I can shine a day along
The pathways where you walk,
Or sit a night in nearness to your bed.
I, in my silver-streamered soul-dress,
To yearn toward your pain, or share
With you your many-splendored moment.

Then I shall be a silver-streamered shadow
Where you are; and I shall know your
Pain and deepest dreads; and I
Shall sit in my wondrous silence near you
And offer you the comfort your heart craves.

Then while you sleep my silver-streamered self
Will ease your pain with feather-likened
Touch. And if you fancy you can feel
Tender, almost non-existent fingers brush
Across your cheek, then it is I
Who loves you more than life
Who comes to comfort you with all my soul

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