Our Lord has called another angel home. Elaine Eaton passed away in her sleep on Monday, April 3, 2017. She is preceded in death by her brother, Alton Hester JR (Gene), and father, Alton Eugene Hester. She is survived by her life partner, Harold “Buddy” Tharp, of TorC, NM; mother, LaUna Hester, of Panhandle, TX; sisterS, Cathy (Mitchell) Hill and husband, Gene Hill, of Elephant Butte, NM, and Brenda Robinson and husband, Doyle Robinson, of Panhandle, TX; three children-Jaybob Eaton and wife, Reba, of Abilene, TX, Jessica Woodfin of Dallas, TX, and Jennifer Herzeberg and husband, Kalen Herzberg, of Clarinda, IA; 4 nieces, 3 nephews, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
A true Angel on Earth, Elaine has spent the past 8 years assisting the community through the pharmacy at WalMart. She was born in Knox City, Texas on September 1, 1953 to Alton and LaUna Hester. The third of four children, Elaine had difficulties during birth which damaged her face, specifically her eyes. She spent the majority of her life with vision difficulties, though recently had them corrected and finally was able to see the beauty around her as God intended.
In 1973, she married Jay Eaton who was active Army. She traveled the world with him for many years, and they had three beautiful children. They eventually settled in her hometown, Knox City, Texas, where she worked as a waitress part-time and a mother full-time. With a no-nonsense parenting style, she was a kind, loving and compassionate person; Traits that she carried with her to the end of her days. After her children were grown, she parted ways with her husband and moved with her sister, Cathy (Mitchell) Hill, to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. She started her new life at the bottom, working as a cashier or waitress, and moved on up from there. She was a bar manager at Rocky’s lounge for several years and in 2005, she met her life partner Harold “Buddy” Tharp. Buddy and Elaine were two peas in a pod. Their jobs at the lounge allowed them quality time together to explore their friendship, especially their vocal skills. Elaine had an amazing singing voice. Having grown up singing in a multitude of church choirs, she branched out during this time and was eager to sing all genres. She often did duets with Buddy, and her sister, Cathy, and occasionally her daughter, Jenny, and nieces. One of the original “singing bartenders,” Elaine’s voice touched the hearts of many while she was there.
In 2008, Elaine took a job working at the Walmart pharmacy, which is where many of the community members know her from. She was always bright and cheerful, helpful, caring and concerned. The outpour of appreciation and gratitude for her services, always going above and beyond, has been immense. Never one to speak ill of others and only angry at injustices, Elaine was the epitome of love, compassion, and charity. Though struggling through minor ailments and illnesses over the years, she was constantly trying to better herself physically and spiritually. She was a devout Christian, and read often for her peace of mind. The Lord was her comfort, her companion, and her savior. She was true saint to many people, and would give anyone the shirt off her back if she knew it could help.
She was a staple and mainstay of everyday life here. She greeted new customers as old friends. She was loved and adored by many. Though her home town was miles away, she made a new home in this community. She was always happy, always humble, and always appreciative of what she had. She cared so much for others that it hurt her sometimes. She worried almost as much as her mother over those she couldn’t help, but she tried her best in all of her endeavors.
She considered her family of the utmost importance. She was always there for birthday’s and holidays, and was a warm comfort to all around. She spoke of the accomplishments of her children daily, and would even show photos of her prized grandsons to anyone who would look. She loved purely, deeply, and truly. She was an inspirational person, beautiful inside and out, and she will be severely missed by all that knew her.
Services were held on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Appletree Auditorium, 1300 South Broadway, at 1:00 PM. A family gathering followed.