James A. Eaton Jr. was born in Buffalo, NY on January 19, 1953. He graduated from Amherst Central High School in 1971 and attended Wesleyan University before earning his master’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo in 1976. Mr. Eaton was the chief financial officer of Eaton Office Supply and an executive in three of Eaton’s divisions.
An avid golfer with two holes-in-one to his credit, Mr. Eaton was a past president of Park Country Club. He was also a sports enthusiast and supported his local teams; he was a season ticket holder of the Buffalo Sabres and University at Buffalo Bulls for football and basketball.
Mr. Eaton was deeply committed to charitable and volunteer work. He had been a director of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation since 1981 and a board member of Gateway-Longview since 2007. He volunteered with the Family Justice Center, Friends of Night People, Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers. He coached youth in soccer and baseball in the Central Amherst Little League. He also was a member of the Shared Decision-Making Team for Williamsville Central Schools. He developed a partnership with Follow Through Magnet School and served as Principal for a Day 1995 – 1997.
Mr. Eaton was devout in his faith and a member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Williamsville. He was a eucharistic minister, lay reader, past warden and treasurer, and served on numerous committees. He had been treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York since 2008 and worked closely with the Diocesan Council and the trustees of the Diocese. He played a major role in plans to renovate the diocesan offices and served on the Diocesan Ministry Center board since 2011.
After a short struggle with cancer, Mr. Eaton died on October 24, 2013 at the age of 60. He left behind a wife of 30 years, three children and a community who loved him. He is remembered as a kind, generous, hard-working man who always had a big smile on his face.