Wilbur “Curly” Eason, 88, of Scranton, passed away Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Thomas Rest Haven in Coon Rapids.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 6 at United Methodist Church in Scranton with Rev. Joyce Webb officiating. Casket bearers were Michael Bruns, Logan Opalinski, Lyle Huisinga, Glen Eason, Jay Eason, Marshall Eason, Richard Eason and Curt Eason. Burial was in the Scranton Township Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Iowa National Guard.
Born March 25, 1929, on the family’s farm in Scranton, Wilbur Eason was the second son of Ruth A. Phillips and Bertrand F. Eason. He graduated from Scranton High School and started farming with his father on their farm just outside of Scranton. Curly was inducted into the United States Army on April 3, 1951, and served in Korea from February, 1952 to his honorable discharge in March, 1953. He met Helen Eason, a teacher, at the Scranton Homecoming Dance and they were married in Collins, Iowa, on August 1, 1951. Upon Curly’s return from the service, the couple moved to the F.A. Eason farm east of Scranton where they raised their family of four daughters and farmed until their retirement. Curly truly loved farming, embracing all of the seasons and the many aspects of a small diversified farm. He loved Iowa and called it ‘God’s Country,’ vowing that he would never live anywhere else!
Their family vacations generally took them to places in Iowa or out to the western, wide-open states. After he retired from farming, he and Helen and their daughter, Genie would travel to visit each of their other daughters and families, which took them to Colorado, Massachusetts and Virginia as they visited people and places along the way. He was a voracious reader and read anything and everything, and embraced new technology as another way to learn and to connect with others.
Curly was an active member of his church, his community and every organization to which he chose to devote his time and energy. Helen and Curly advocated for education for those with special needs in the 1960’s and employment opportunities in the 1970’s on behalf of Genie, who was born with Down Syndrome. They were key contributors to the establishment of Genesis Development in Jefferson and he served on the Iowa Governor’s Council for Development Disabilities for 10 years, including two years as Chairman. Curly felt it was important to advocate for those who were less able and devoted his lifetime to working with the local communities in developing numerous resources to serve this population. He also believed in keeping his small hometown a vibrant place to live and invested his time and energy in serving on the Scranton Betterment Committee, the Scranton Library Board and Carroll Community of Concern.
Curly, along with Helen, was a faithful member of the Scranton United Methodist Church, served on numerous church committees multiple times and enjoyed volunteering for Vacation Bible School. Curly was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star and was active in the VFW and American Legion local organizations for many years.
Curly is survived by three daughters: Rebecca Joy Eason Opalinski of Parker, Colorado, Amy Marie Eason Bruns (Michael) of Natick, Massachusetts and Carol Winifred Eason of Scranton; five grandchildren: Logan Eason Opalinski, Brooke Helen Opalinski (Reinaldo Sanchez), Rachel Catherine Bruns, Madeline Ruth Bruns and Elizabeth Lea Bruns; two brothers, Frank Eason (Karen) of Morton, Illinois and Bruce Eason (Jane) of Mission, Texas; three sisters-in-law: Rosemary Eason of Battle Creek, Iowa, Doris Dickel of Madrid, Iowa and Patricia Caulkins of Collins, Iowa; a brother-in-law, Wilbur Huisinga of Parkersburg, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.
Curly was preceded in death by his wife, Helen on March 29, 2016; his daughter, Eugenia Eason; his parents; one brother, Bertrand Eason of Battle Creek; two sisters, Halcyon Dixon and Ada Huisinga; and two sons-in-law, Kevin Bahl and John Reilly.
Memorial donations may be made to Genesis Development, Jefferson, Iowa, or to Brushy Creek Honor Flight, Fort Dodge, Iowa and online condolences may be left for Curly’s family at www.dahnandwoodhouse.com.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Scranton.