Cover photo for William Ernest Eaton's Obituary
William Ernest Eaton Profile Photo
1925 William 2020

William Ernest Eaton

September 4, 1925 — December 2, 2020

William Ernest Eaton, Bill to his friends, was born on September 4, 1925 and passed away December 2, 2020 in his home after struggling with pneumonia. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law: Carol Eaton Brandenburg and Alan Brandenburg: his four grandchildren: Lea Eaton Hinchcliff, Kit Fox, Kathryn Eaton Brandenburg, and William Eaton Brandenburg; and his two great-grandchildren: Archibold Eaton Smith and Rio Eaton Smith, his friends, and his dog Molly. He was preceded in death by his wife Coralie Anne Eaton and his daughter Suzanne Eaton Hinchcliff.

Bill was a graduate of Carbondale Community High School and attended both Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois. He was the football captain while at CCHS, and lettered in Football and Track in 1944 and 1945 while at SIU. He was an Apprentice Seamen and an Aviation Cadet in the Navy from July 1, 1943 to July 4, 1944. He participated in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for 31 years. He was a member of the Lions Club and Elks Club for 60 years and helped with many Pancake Days. He was the co-owner of Eaton and Brown Appliances Co and Southern Gas Co, both of which were long standing Carbondale Businesses. Bill also served the City of Carbondale as City Planner and then as City Councilman for 12 years. He was the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce man of the year in 1969.

Bill, an avid golfer, switched to boating when his children were little in order to spend more time with his family. His hobby turned into an adventure, with small boat trips on the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers and grew into a passion. As the size of his boats grew, so did the bodies of water he explored. He and Coralie traveled on Kentucky Lake, the Tennessee River, the Gulf of Mexico, the entire Intercoastal Water Way, the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. In his lifetime, he also travelled extensively throughout Central and North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.

Bill was a beloved and loyal friend, father, and grandfather. His infectious laugh, quick sense of humor, and hardworking nature will be sorely missed by all who knew him. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the year.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested memorial donations be made to the William E. Eaton College of Business Scholarship, SIU Foundation, Colyer Hall, 1235 Douglas Dr, Carbondale, Illinois. Donations are also accepted at

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Bill visit

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