Samuel Edward “Ted” Eaton, Jr. ’37, of Hingham, Mass., passed away at Queen Anne Nursing Home Jan. 2, 2013, three weeks short of his 98th birthday. He was born in Nyack, N.Y., Jan. 20, 1915, to the late Olive Bowers (Eddy) and S. Edward Eaton, Sr. After living in Nyack, N.Y., and then in Franklin, N.C., Eaton and his family moved to Hingham, where he lived for 62 years.
He attended Davidson and transferred to Wesleyan University, where he graduated in 1937 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Eaton was a man of remarkable talent and energy, as well as a strong family man with a great sense of humor. He lived a long vibrant life as he pursued his many passions. He had a 26-year career at Arthur D. Little as a research chemist and was a group manager of business development, where he led over 100 projects and holds 14 patents. During his tenure at Arthur D. Little, Eaton presented a paper, “Atoms for Peace,” on the peaceful uses of atomic energy at the International Conference in Switzerland in 1955 held by the United Nations. During World War II, he was part of a group of scientists with the Office of Scientific Research and Development helping the War Department decipher messages in invisible ink. He felt certain that his work as a member of the code breaking team helped to shorten the war. As a result of this work, which was examined in the book The Code Breakers, Eaton received a letter of commendation from the War Department, as well as the Navy Department.
Eaton was an avid sailor and loved the ocean. He was a member of the Hingham Yacht Club, where he raced and won several championships in the Mercury and Ensign classes. He also enjoyed skiing, tennis, golf, and loved to sing. He sang in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society in Hingham and in the choir at St. Johns for many years, and loved singing with his family. He spent his life looking for solutions to complex problems, both as a chemist working on nuclear weapons, and later in life tackling what he felt those weapons threatened-world peace. Toward this end, Eaton wrote a peace proposal, entered it in a contest sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, and was one of 48 selected out of 1,500 essay contributions. He participated in MIT seminars, which were sponsored by the Club of Rome, during which they grappled with issues such as population growth, poverty, resource depletion, and environmental issues. Later in life, Eaton focused on causes that mattered to him, and he was instrumental in developing the Hingham dump, working with the town to create a state-of-the-art landfill. In his later years, he also spent a fair amount of time looking for scientific answers to theological questions, writing his thoughts in a published treatise.
He is survived by his spouse, Teri C. Sands Eaton, 100 Otis St., Hingham, MA 02043; his daughters, Deborah E. Keeney (Terry) and Meredith E. Walsh (Tim); his sons, Timothy E. Eaton and Christopher A. Eaton; his stepdaughter, Trish Waddleton Hardey (Tom); as well as four grandchildren, Bill Keeney, Darcy Keeney Green, Maura Walsh, and Brennan Walsh; and three great-grandchildren, Dillon and Tyler Keeney and Wyatt Green. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothy Gittins Eaton, in 1990, and also by his sisters, Lavinia Eaton, Dorothy Eaton Sample, and Mary Eaton.