George Theodore Eaton

On Thursday, March 18th, 2021, George Theodore Eaton (“Pete”), husband, brother, and father of three children, passed away peacefully in Nanterre, France at the age of 82 following a Covid diagnosis.

George was born in Ithaca, NY on August 22, 1938 and grew up in NY state, Virginia, Kansas and North Carolina.  Awarded the Angier B. Duke Memorial Prize, he received his B.A. in Political Science from Duke University in 1960.  On a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, George received his M.A. from Yale University in 1961.  He was married to Helen Marie Rupp in 1964, to Susan Lofstrom Mayer in 2000, and to Diaka Diane in 2008.

George served almost 30 years promoting international development in Africa both as a diplomat and as a Foreign Service Officer before retiring in 1994.  He began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nsukka, Nigeria from 1961-1963.  After studying French Literature and Language at the Sorbonne (University of Paris) and teaching Political Science at Prairie View A & M College, TX, he joined USAID in Washington D.C.  His overseas postings started in 1969, taking him and his family to Kenya, Tanzania, Eswatini, Mali, and finally to Mauritania and Niger, where he was Director.

From 1994-2004, George worked as an international aid consultant in Afghanistan, Moldova, Rwanda, Belize, Botswana, Egypt, Haiti, Mali, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Macedonia, Zambia, Cameroon.  Following nine years in Taos, NM, he settled in France in 2009 with his wife, Diaka Diane, and his youngest son, Jacques.  In George’s youth he was an adventurer and a mountain climber.  He appreciated the richness of other cultures as well as the beauty of wildlife.  In retirement, he was an avid walker, reader and writer, as well as an observer of local, national and international politics.  He enjoyed the quirks of how the French and English languages overlapped in popular culture.

In addition to his wife and son in France and his sister, Margaret Eaton, in New Zealand, George is survived in the U.S. by his oldest son, Timothy, his daughter, Natasha Copeland, his former wife, Helen, and their grandchildren, Henry, Li-Yen, Liam and Katya.

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