Margaret (Peggy) Eleanor Long Eaton of Hilton Head, S.C., died at home on August 6, 2013. She was 95.
She was born in Sac City, Iowa, on Dec. 29, 1917, the daughter of Edwin and Nannette Long. Upon graduating from Morningside College in Sioux City, she received not only her Bachelor of Arts, but was the one woman among 19 men to simultaneously receive her pilot’s license, receiving her wings through the Civilian Pilots’ Training Course. She taught school for one year, and decided she didn’t like teaching. She went searching for adventure and further studies and received her Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
In 1943 she joined the American Red Cross and was sent to Italy for the next two years. She was assigned to a Clubmobile Unit and attached to the 14th Fighter Group at Triola Air Base. It was at that time that she first met her future husband, Fred Eaton, who was a B-17 bomber pilot with the Army Air Corps. After the war, she moved to Riverside, Calif., where she was employed in the Personnel Department of San Bernardino Air Base and reconnected with Fred.
After the war Fred joined Sears & Roebuck and the two were married. They lived in Chicago, New York, Atlanta and West Palm Beach before he was transferred to Caracas, Venezuela, as the president of Sears de Venezuela. Peggy was a remarkable woman, always ready not only to learn something new, but for the next adventure. She was delighted for the opportunity to live abroad and to raise their five children, ages 3 to 11, there.
She was always actively serving her community. For many years she was a member of VAAUW (the Venezulean American Association of University Women), with a term as president. She was extremely proud of her work with that organization, which started a kindergarten in the slums of Caracas. She spent 17 wonderful years in Venezuela, with vacations at their home on Martha’s Vineyard.
Peggy was an artist all her life in a wide variety of media. She always wanted to try her hand at something new. She studied and excelled in sculpting, papier mâché, stained glass, mosaics and needlework. She even went on to teach classes in some of those areas.
When Fred retired in 1977 they moved to Hilton Head, S.C., into the house they had designed. On Hilton Head, Peggy was active in the Hilton Head Herb Society, the Sea Pines Garden Club and St. Andrews By-The-Sea United Methodist Church.
Peggy was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Fred, in 1994. She leaves behind four sons, Brant of New York city and Rick, Scott and Barry of Hilton Head, and one daughter, Christie Leininger, and her husband, David, also of Hilton Head; two grandchildren, Dave Leininger and his wife, Jenny, and Erin Leininger; as well as great-grandchildren Dalton and Mary Grace, along with many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her siblings Robert Long of Kansas City, Kans., Katheryn Sutton of Greenville, N.C., and Dorothy Long of Falls Church, Va.
A memorial services will be held on Tuesday, August 13 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church on Pope avenue in Hilton Head, S.C. Memorials may be made to the Capital Campaign of that church.
The Island Funeral Home and Crematory in Hilton Head is in charge of arrangements.