School 07

R. Eileen (Burnett) Seaton

February 22, 1933 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

R. Eileen Seaton Obituary

It is with great sorrow that the children, Elizabeth, (Peter), Mark, (Barb), Lisa, (David), and grandchildren, Lucas, (Safa), Taylor, (Robb), Bobby, Emily, and Madeline announce that their loving mother and grandmother, R. Eileen Seaton (nee Burnett) passed away in her sleep on Saturday, March 2.  Mom was predeceased by her two brothers Roy and Bob and is survived by her youngest brother Ed (Marlene). 

Eileen was born on February 22, 1933, in a log cabin in Swastika, Ontario. As she was two months premature, weighing only three pounds, she was placed in a shoebox that was kept on the wood stove door. No incubators for wee babies in 1933!  Eileen, a true northerner, was a survivor, full of life and vigor for the rest of her days. 

As a child, Mom lived in Kirkland Lake and Collingwood. Finally, her family moved to Owen Sound where she spent most of her younger life. Following high school, Eileen chose to become a “Six Week Wonder” (a provincial training program to produce trained teachers). At age 18, she taught for 2 years in a one-room school on the Bruce Peninsula. Eileen was 2 years older than her oldest students and her most important job was making sure the fireplace was stoked and warm each morning. In ‘54, Eileen,  at the request of the Ministry of Education, moved to Stratford, Ontario to attend Teachers College. In a moment of “Shakespeare tragedy”, Eileen fell down the stairs during the first day of classes - the Bard smiled - Romeo himself, Alexander Seaton, picked Juliet up, dusted her off, flashed his famous Lakeside smile, turned on the charm, and as they say, the rest was history. 

Eileen lived a life full of love, laughter, and zest.  She and Alex had many travels and adventures.  We don’t know if Mom was always ready to go as quickly as Dad, but she always went. In Scotland (1965), Eileen braved the cold and damp of the Glasgow climate while Alex taught school and Elizabeth and Mark donned wool uniforms and went to school each day for a year. She said she was never warm!  Every weekend, Eileen and Alex took two small kids all over the British Isles in a leaky panel van, a ‘48 Comer. She survived claustrophobia, zero amenities, thousands of castles, ruins, and several pilgrimages to shrines of the Scottish poet laureate, himself - Robbie Burns. 

Eileen taught for a while in Oxford County and after the children were born she devoted her life to her family. Eileen was active in the Eastern Star and the ACW. In her later life, Mom was President of the Oxford Seniors Centre and led a long-lived TOPS club, claiming she was in it for the fun, not because she had to be there. After Alex retired from teaching, they spent two lengthy stints in the Czech Republic, (1991). They were supposed to teach English, but Eileen claimed they learned how to drink Vodka, and eat Christmas Carp, along with other varied cuisines which Mom never learned to stomach, hence the Vodka! “Ilenka” was loved by her students.

Perhaps her greatest adventure was building our beloved family cottage, LizMarLi.  Imagine, in the north woods, with no electricity or running water with three energetic kids and an even more zealous husband.  Mom could turn out turkeys and dinner for over 25 hungry people on a wood-burning stove.  If she didn’t like it, we never knew. 

Eileen taught all of us so much. Always dress smartly for every occasion. She changed outfits, including accessories, to suit, sometimes several times a day.  Love generously, live life every day like it is your last, and always be there for family.  She gave us all the confidence to be our best, be responsible for ourselves and our actions, and reach for the stars.  Her three children and grandkids chuckle at one of her greatest gifts, be organized!  

Eileen was a fixture (some say the Mayor) at Oxford Gardens (OG) where she walked the halls bringing cheer to all.  We know she will be missed by her OG family and especially her afternoon Wine Club.  The family extends our gratitude and thanks to all of the staff at OG for providing her with excellent care in her later years. 

Mom, Eileen, you are now in the stars you taught us to reach for and we miss you.  We look up and know that you and Dad are together again. 

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