23 Jun Remembering Our Friends
James “JR” Eaton
5/28/1956 – 6/9/2020
If New Hope ever had a “Mr. Congeniality” award, there is no question that James “JR” Eaton would have won. With his charming personality, engaging smile and delightful sense of humor it’s no wonder he easily became friends with everyone around him, many of them becoming friends for life. This includes people he met at his schools, churches, Bradford Woods Camp, and his many years being served by New Hope.
JR lived with his parents until he moved into the New Hope residential facility in 1985. His parents, Bob and Sara, were volunteers at New Hope facility “Pod Shop.” JR was later served in the group home program and resided for many years in the Justin Group Home. He enjoyed participating in New Hope’s Day Services Program, especially visiting with associates, being a part of the Kiwanis Aktion Club as a charter member, hamming it up in musical programs and at parties, etc. In summers he could be seen watering the flowers outside the Rendu Room for all to enjoy. He also looked forwarded to attending camp for individuals who have cerebral palsy, which he did for 47 years!
JR was devoted to his family as they were to him. His sister Kathy lives locally and would have lunch with him weekly in addition to visits around holidays and special occasions. His other sister, Julie, lives in Arizona and stayed in touch through calls and visits to Indiana. He also loved his stepmother, Mary Jean Eaton.
Because of health issues, JR moved to North Woods Village facility in Kokomo in 2017, which was closer to his sister Kathy. He continued to enjoy his favorite interests, talking with staff, attending social activities, listening to music and enjoying his trademark iced tea. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he had to stay in his room, but his positive attitude remained. He is certainly missed by all who had the privilege to be his friend.