St. Paris resident Fonda Lou Eaton is 2017’s Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year.
The Outstanding Senior of the Year is selected by the Area Agency on Aging. Nominations are sought from agencies in Champaign County, then presented to the agency.
Eaton received her award at the annual Champaign County Senior Day luncheon Tuesday. The event featured entertainment by the Champaign County Dulcimers, the Dancing Dolls and Bill Purk. The luncheon was served by Mercy McAuley and Oakwood Village. Eaton was presented her award after the lunch and Urbana Mayor Bill Bean read a proclamation in her honor.
“I feel very blessed,” Eaton said of her friends and the award. “It’s such an honor.”
Eaton has been a huge asset to her community and the county at large, Urbana Champaign County Senior Center Executive Director Stacy Barnhart said.
“I’ve known her many years. She’s done nothing but wonderful things in our community and county. The award is well deserved,” she said.
Eaton is a lifetime resident of Champaign County and the daughter of Jesse and Evelyn Allen, Barnhart said. She was Fall Festival Queen her junior year at St. Paris High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in Education and went to Wilmington College.
Eaton married St. Paris resident Don Eaton in 1956 while still at Wilmington. She later received a master’s degree from Wittenberg University and taught first and second grades at Urbana and Troy schools. She was named Educator of the Year in 1990 by the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. She retired after 42 “very satisfying years” of teaching, she said.
Eaton spends her free time traveling, collecting antiques and enjoying “anything related to arts and culture.” She also spends her free time volunteering with a number of groups, including the St. Paris United Methodist Church, the Antique Study Club, Champaign County Arts Council, the Graham High School Scholarship Foundation and Champaign County Memorial Foundation.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.