Mary Eileen (Norton) Dutton, of Dallas, passed away peacefully the morning of Oct. 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Her death was due to natural causes.
Eileen, as she was known to family and friends, was born on Feb. 4, 1925, in Topeka, Kan., the only child of Leo and Helen Ann (McCurdy) Norton.
Her father died while Eileen was still a child, and she and her mother moved to Southern California.
After completing high school, Eileen worked as a secretary until she met and married Elvin Lewis Dutton, a veteran of World War II, on Sept. 7, 1946.
She dedicated herself to the life of a homemaker and mother as she gave birth to three children: Scott, Theresa, and Bryan. She was devoted to her children and their activities, especially since Elvin worked two jobs to support the family.
In 1964, Eileen moved with Elvin and the children to Independence, where they had purchased a 107-acre farm.
Elvin had grown up on farms and was tired of the hectic lifestyle of Southern California.
On the farm, the family raised beef cattle, hay, grain, and at one point had almost 1,000 chickens, so egg production was a major operation.
Adjusting to life on a farm was quite an experience for Eileen and the children, but Eileen took it all in stride as she learned how to make jams and pickles and collect and clean eggs.
As her children grew old enough to attend school, Eileen returned to work as the administrative assistant in the Graduate School of Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University.
Eileen brought excellent skills, organizational abilities and attention to detail to her position, as was the case with all that she did.
She retired from that position on March 1, 1984, and looked forward to spending more time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
This was not to be the case.
In 1993, Eileen suffered a major stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side and led to other health issues.
The stroke, fortunately, did not affect her mind and she continued to be an avid reader and take an active interest in the lives of her family and friends.
Eileen was a woman of great faith, committed to the Catholic Church and devoted to the Blessed Mother, whose name she carried.
Her children can recall saying the rosary together during the month of May, dedicated to Mary, and October, the month of the rosary.
Her faith permeated all aspects of her life. Whatever burdens she had to endure, she bore patiently and without complaint.
She was truly a model of Christian love.
As it says in the Book of Proverbs:
“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize …
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel.
Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her:
‘Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.’”
(Proverbs 31: 10-11, 25-26, 28-29)
Eileen is survived by her loving family: her children Scott (Ellen), Theresa (Cassius) Downs, and Bryan (Emma); her grandchildren Michael, Kathleen, Matthew, Adam, and Aarin; and her sister-in-law Anita. Her parents and her husband of 68 years, Elvin, preceded Eileen in death.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Independence on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m.
A reception will be held at the Dallas Retirement Village from 3 until 5 p.m. that same afternoon.
Eileen’s cremains will be interred next to those of her husband in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland on Monday, Nov. 27, at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center is caring for the family. To share an online condolence, go to: www.dallastribute.com.