Barbara Eaton Obituary

Aug. 25, 2014, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
EATON BARBARA STEARNS EATON (Age 90) Passed away on August 13, 2014. She was born in Washington, D.C. to the late William Perry Stearns and Virginia King Adams. Barbara's lifelong passion was synchronized swimming. She developed a love for the sport early in life swimming for American University. She participated in starting competitive synchronized swimming in the Washington, D.C. area culminating with the first competitive meet in Baltimore. Barbara helped establish competitive synchronized swimming in other states which grew into regional championship swimming meets and the East Coast Championships. She was appointed Junior Olympic Chairman for Synchronized Swimming for the Amateur Athletic Union and in 1972 held the first Junior Olympic Championships in Norfolk and in the same year was elected to lead the sport as its President. In 1974 she established a Masters synchronized swimming program and became the first Chairperson of the new Masters Committee as it grew into a national program. A highlight of her synchronized swimming career was her participation as a deck official in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles for the first Olympic Games with Synchronized Swimming as an event. She returned to the water in the Master's Program and won numerous 1st place medals for the 60 and 70 year age group and was named the Masters Athlete of the Year (Mae McEwan Memorial Award) in 1982. She was elected to the USA Synchronized Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980 and was honored with synchronized swimming's top honor, the Billie MacKellar Award in 2004. During all of these activities, she continued to coach synchronized swimming teams in the Virginia Beach area. She also developed an interest in parliamentary procedures and served synchronized swimming as their convention parliamentarian for 20 years. She was involved in supporting local groups and was active in the Red Hat Club, The Thalia Garden Club and the Cape Henry Woman's Club which she served as parliamentarian for several years. Barbara's husband of 48 years, John Eaton, preceded her in passing in July of this year. Her memory is cherished by her sons by her prior marriage, Jim Van Dusen, Dick Van Dusen and Charles Van Dusen, step-sons Riley Eaton and Jon-Eric Eaton, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and a host of extended family members and friends. A memorial service will be held at 12 Noon, Monday, August 25, 2014 at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Lynnhaven Chapel and interment will be on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12 Noon in the Fort Lincoln Cemetery at 3401 Bladensburg Road, Brentwood, Maryland. In place of flowers, the family requests that you send donations to the US Synchronized Swimming Foundation, 132 E. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204 in Barbara's name. Condolences can be expressed to the family at - See more at: