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February 1, 2012
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Arnetta Ann Eaton

On Jan. 9, with her family by her side, Arnetta Ann (Clark) Eaton peacefully made her journey to heaven after a brief yet courageous battle with advanced brain cancer.

Arnetta, an only child born to the late Robert (Bob) and Lillian (Suits) Clark, began her life in Santa Monica, Calif., on Feb. 5, 1945. She spent the early 1950s in Casa Grande, Ariz., where her parents farmed cotton with her aunt and uncle, Bob and Regina (Clark) McIlveen, their son Robert and her paternal grandparents, John and Callie (Ferguson) Clark. The remainder of her formative years were spent growing up and attending parochial school in California, where she formed what became two lifelong friendships with Janie Schiesl and Patricia (Rex) Kelly-Brown.

She moved to Eagle in 1961 when her father was appointed to assume the position of Undersheriff following the shooting death of her grandfather, John Clark, while in the line of duty.

Arnetta had a love for all things Colorado. Her favorite things included spending time with her much loved "Granny" Callie. When she met that boy with the "beautiful eyes and the 46' Ford Coupe" while working at the Eagle Theatre for her aunt and uncle, Johnnie and Lloyd Greve, it made her decision to stay in Eagle an easy one when her parents decided to return to California. She graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1963. "That boy" was Herb Eaton of Eagle and he became the love of her life. In May 1964 they began what would become 46 wonderful years together. Together they built their entire lives around their family. They had two children, Michael A. Eaton and Tiffeny M. Eaton.

As an only child, Arnetta had a great appreciation for all those who were a part of her life. She often referred to her cousins Connie (Greve) Bunton, Sue Greve, Susan (Davis) Gardner, and MaryAnn Davenport, and sisters-in-law Linda (Eaton) Propernick and Brenda (Eaton) Nunn (deceased) as the sisters she never had. They each meant the world to her and had a very special place in her heart.

Arnetta worked for Vail Associates at Vail/Beaver Creek in ski school and ticket operations. She also worked for the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder's office until she became a full-time homemaker and grandmother in the late 1980s.

Her most precious gifts in life were her grandchildren. She dearly loved and cherished every minute she had with all of them. Affectionately known as "Grammie" or "Netta," she looked forward to planning or hosting a favorite birthday or holiday dinner, attending a baseball or football game, making costumes for Halloween or school performances, or simply sitting for hours just visiting about life with each one of them. In recent years she was most proud of her ability to master the computer and text messaging; she did it solely with the intent to communicate daily with her now-grown grandchildren.

A true lady with such beauty and grace, it only seems fitting she had a passion for her surroundings outdoors and the nature it encompassed. With much delight, she anticipated the arrival of a herd of elk in the winter or the return of a bald eagle perched on a tree above Brush Creek. She spent countless hours each summer trying to make her creation - her wildflower garden - more beautiful than it was the year before.

Arnetta joined her deeply missed son Michael in eternity. She is survived by her husband, Herb Eaton; and daughter, Tiffeny Eaton, both of Grand Junction; her beloved grandchildren, Kayla (Jimmie) Neeley of Weesatche, Texas; and her three children, Trey, Taitlyn and Tripp Mead of Carbon County, Utah; Catherine Eaton of Phoenix, Ariz.; Tyler Conway of Grand Junction; Travis Conway of Eagle; and her precious little Callie Eaton-Bruckner of Grand Junction; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; all of which she cherished so very much.

There will be a memorial service for Arnetta at 2 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 4, at Callahan Edfast Mortuary, 2515 Patterson, Grand Junction. A celebration of her life will follow immediately at the home of Bob McIlveen and Lisa Hanlon, 323 31st Road Grand Junction. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made at any First Bank location or by calling the First Bank of Avon (970) 949-0100 c/o the Arnetta Eaton Memorial Fund.

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The VailDaily Updated Feb 1, 2012 12:31PM Published Feb 1, 2012 12:27PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.