Hanny K. Eaton

Feb 10, 2020
Hanny Keaton

Camden — Hanny was born "Johanna" in Enschedede, Holland, July 18, 1923, and passed away peacefully Jan. 23, 2020 in Camden.

She was the only child of Engbert Keyzer and Arnolda Kuiper Keyzer. Her growing up years were spent in Haaksbergen, near the German border, where her parents ran a small hotel.

She told many stories of growing up there, including all the biking, visiting with the extended family, as well as activities and parties at the hotel. Being so close to the border would also figure prominently during WW2, as the Hotel Centraal was occupied first by the Germans during the war, and then after liberation the Canadians, Americans, and then the British, which of course added many more stories.

After the death of her mother and the war's end, she moved to The Hague, where she worked for an American diplomatic family and eventually moved with them to Paris in 1951. Her ability to speak four languages made her a valuable employee.

It was in here that she met William O. Eaton, who was in the U.S. Army and from Belfast. He was working as an administrator at the American Hospital. After their marriage, they continued to live in Paris, France for three more years, and that is where their daughter Kathleen was born.

They were a military family though, so moving became a common activity, which she became quite an expert at. Their next move was to El Paso, Texas, where she became an American citizen and officially became "Hanny" vs Johanna.

Then on Italy for six years, where their son John was born in Pisa. This was a wonderful time for the entire family with travels through Europe as well as visiting family in Holland. Future moves involved several areas of both New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. After Bill's retirement from the army, there were five years in Maine as well.

The cold wasn't quite to their liking, so it was time to pack up and go back to New Mexico, and ultimately Abilene, Texas.

In 1999, after her husband's death, Hanny moved back to Maine to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law. The first few months being spent on Matinicus at their home.

She had many fond memories of the island experience as well as the people she met there. Ultimately, home became Rockland, where she was able to walk most places she needed to go, since she never learned to drive -- as she would readily tell you -- though she did miss riding her bike. She regularly walked Main Street and many people might remember seeing her daily.

She was perhaps somewhat visible, as she never lost her European style and sensibility. The kindness and friendliness of so many people in Rockland meant more to her than they can imagine. After more than fifty years of moving, she seemed ready to settle in, and energetically adapted to this new part of life and learning so many new things, which she did with her own flair.

Becoming friendly with many people played an important part in her new life. Several became absolutely special to her and showed her so much kindness whether with a phone call, ride, or best of all a visit for a glass of wine and sharing stories.

At this time, she also thoroughly enjoyed working as a docent at the Farnsworth Homestead. This position meant so much to her and really made the most of her outgoing and friendly nature. She enjoyed every minute of the eight years she worked there.

She loved when the Homestead opened each spring and was sad to see it close in the fall. She particularly enjoyed greeting visitors to Rockland and advising them on destinations for the many enjoyable things to do and see, as well as great places to go for meals. She was quite an enthusiast where Rockland was concerned.

She was always ready for any sort of party, gathering or outing and always had a lot of energy.

In her earlier years, she loved giving parties, preparing great meals as she was an adventurous cook, wanting everything to look wonderful and taste delicious.

She was an accomplished sewer, making items of clothing and decor for their homes. She also canned and preserved the produce from the gardens that Bill always grew.

Now in Maine, though, the winter did keep her homebound a little more, but a day trip or a drive somewhere was always a pleasure.

She had said that as much as she enjoyed the adventures of all the moving during her life, settling in now was indeed pleasant. We are sure Bill would have been proud of how well she adjusted and embraced this particular new chapter in her life.

During the past four years, she had made her home at Quarry Hill. This was a big adjustment once again that she took on gracefully.

We would sincerely like to thank all of the staff at Quarry Hill for their continuous and thoughtful kindness, we cannot imagine a more caring setting anywhere. Everyone there made a difficult time and major adjustment so much better, thank you once again.

She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, William "Bill" Eaton in 1999, as well as her son, John Paul Eaton in later 1999.

She is survived by her daughter Kathleen Colton and son-in-law Maury Colton of Matinicus Island and Rockland; cousins Ann Pompili of Toronto and Bert Holtkamp and Jan Holtkamp of The Netherlands.

Interment will be private at the Achorn Cemetery in Rockland, where her husband and son are also laid to rest. There will be no services as per her request, but certainly a toast to her memory would be welcome to her.

To share a memory or condolences with the family, visit their Book of Memories at bchfh.com.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Lisa Nash-Carleton | Feb 13, 2020 20:11

Hanny was a beautiful person she became a grandmother figure to myself . The girls at dr Coppola office always looked forward to her visits.  We called her the ambassador of Rockland.  What a life she lived!

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