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Leonard Earl Van Eaton

March 4, 1929April 26, 2021
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Leonard Earl Van Eaton, Esq., was born in Memphis, TN, on March 4, 1929, the eldest son of Letisha Bording Van Eaton and Leonard Wyatt Van Eaton. He passed away at his home from natural causes on April 26, 2021. He was a graduate of Central High School where he was a cheerleader. It was there that he met and married his first love, Verenus June Turner. After graduating from high school, Leonard went to work at Firestone Tire and Rubber building tires during the day and going to law school at night. He received his law degree from Southern School of Law (later to become Memphis University) in June 1958. He was admitted to the Bar and subsequently went into practice, first with Seymour Rosenberg, then Hershel Rosenberg and finally into private practice, continuing to serve his legal clients while also working as a real estate closing attorney at Title Assurance and Escrow in partnership with his eldest son, Kris Van Eaton. In 1959, he married his wife of 56 years, Mary Lillian (Benton) Van Eaton. Together, they enjoyed an active social life being involved with Cotton Carnival and Ra Met Secret Society. They also travelled extensively with their close-knit group of friends.

He was a member of the Bar Association and Ra Met Secret Society, representing Ra Met as “King Ra XXXVII” during that years’ Cotton Carnival.

He was excessively frugal with his personal needs while almost excessively generous with contributions to a number of charitable organizations. He loved to travel with family and friends and travelled throughout the country and abroad. He participated in several sports like water and snow skiing, in his younger years, and played tennis until his late eighties. He generally enjoyed what life had to offer.

He was well known and well respected by his peers as an attorney. He loved his work and was active in his law practice until his passing at age 92.

He was a family man and loved to be around his immediate and extended family. He was the anchor in bringing his whole family together to celebrate live and each other. He was the bedrock of our family and will remain held reverently and lovingly in our hearts.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian, and his brothers, Billie and Charles. He is survived by his sister Vera Sue Friddell (Thomas), his children Bonnie Van Eaton Jones, Kris Stevens Van Eaton (Barbie), Leonard Walter Van Eaton (Lynne), Wesley Orin Van Eaton (Gini), Cynthia Lydia Van Eaton, 7 grandchildren and 4 ½ great grandchildren.

Services will be held on May 11, 2021 at Family Funeral Care, 4925 Summer Ave., Memphis, TN, with graveside internment at Memphis Memorial Park to follow. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Samaritan’s Purse and/or Disabled American Vets.

  • FAMILY

  • Letisha Bording Van Eaton and Leonard Wyatt Van Eaton, Parents (deceased)
  • Verenus June Turner, First Love (deceased)
  • Mary Lillian (Benton) Van Eaton, Wife (deceased)
  • Billie and Charles, Brothers (deceased)
  • Vera Sue Friddell (Thomas), Sister
  • Bonnie Van Eaton Jones, Kris Stevens Van Eaton (Barbie), Leonard Walter Van Eaton (Lynne), Wesley Orin Van Eaton (Gini), Cynthia Lydia Van Eaton, Children
  • Seven, Grandchildren
  • Four and a Half, Great Grandchildren
  • DONATIONS

  • Samaritan's Purse
  • Disabled American Vets

Services

  • Gathering of Friends and Family

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Memories

Leonard Earl Van Eaton

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April Fowler

May 13, 2021

Some people may think it a little odd that I am grieving deeply over the death of my 92 year old boss. If you knew him, you know it isn't odd at all. Leonard E. Van Eaton was a really wonderful person and I am fortunate to have spent so much time with him in his last years of life. I learned so very much from him about life and just a little about law (though he was a wealth or knowledge in that regard as well). Everyone I speak to about his death says the same thing. He was kind and generous and fair and told you what you needed to hear. Sometimes that was, "you're doing a good job and I'm proud of you.". Sometimes it was, "Hey...what's going on with you? What do we need to do to get you back together again?" He knew how to make you laugh and he knew how to make you think. I am gonna miss him dearly along with many, many other lucky people who knew him. He left a beautiful legacy and a loving family who are helping each other make it through this heavy time.

Jeanne Bright

May 11, 2021

Leonard was our attorney, he was a caring, lovely man. He was an inspiration.

Anna Carothers

May 11, 2021

We are saddened to learn the news of Mr. Van Eaton's passing.

He would stop by on days that he had court. Wearing his Van Eaton Country Club hat, I'd get him coffee with 2 sweet and lows, and we would all briefly chat about life's going ons; him often sharing stories about his family that he cared so deeply for.

We would like to offer the family our deepest and most sincere condolences.

Gary, Anna, and JoAnn
Shelby County Law Library

Rema Nance

May 11, 2021


So sorry for your loss.

And for his friends and business associates.

A great person. He will be missed.

Blessings

Rema Nance

Lynne Meeks

May 10, 2021

We would like to express sincerest condolences to the family of Leonard Van Eaton.

Leonard was Van to us. His wife, Lillian, is my first cousin twice removed - my mother's first cousin. He always had a gracious demeanor and he had so many admirable qualities! Although we saw Van, Lillian, and Cindy only about once a year on average, he was always sincerely interested in our family and what our most recent interests were. He and Lillian had a vested interest in my family because our oldest daughter learned to crawl in their Destin condo. We enjoyed many vacations in their condo!
Van always seemed to admire my parents, Evadene (Dickinson) and Carl Brake. They had much in common and always had great conversations about family, work, travel and their efforts to live their best life.
The last time I saw Van was at one of our annual family reunions in Winfield several years ago. It was obvious that Lillian was declining but neither of us acknowledged that as we chatted quietly. I remember that he said, "Lil and I have had a great life. I have no regrets." What a great testament to appreciating family and living well!

We will hold his entire family in our prayers in this difficult time,

Lynne and Michael Meeks and family

Mark and Lisa Arnold

May 5, 2021

Sending his family our deepest condolences. Leonard was our legal counsel for many years, he was like family to us. Lisa would help him sometimes with computer programs and he was always learning, he never missed a chance to learn something new. He will truly be missed.

Gracie Mckenzie

May 2, 2021

There r so many wonderful memories of Mr. Van. He was a loving husband, father and had been a practicing Attorney for 62 years. I was so privileged to have know him and his tiger Lil for 22 years. Next door Neighbor, family friend and legal associate. We had one more neighborhood cook out 9/2020 tited 6' let's eat. And we did for 5 hours. He is with his Tiger Lil now resting in peace. Thx Mr Van for all the life lessson u shared and loved doing so. We miss u greatly.

Jennifer Sigan

May 2, 2021

Leonard was an awesome individual and so spectacular he even had a tennis shot named after him - “the VanEaton!”

Carole Young

May 1, 2021

So sorry to hear about Leonard. My deepest sympathy to all of his family. Carole Young

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Leonard Earl Van Eaton, Esq., was born in Memphis, TN, on March 4, 1929, the eldest son of Letisha Bording Van Eaton and Leonard Wyatt Van Eaton. He passed away at his home from natural causes on April 26, 2021. He was a graduate of Central High School where he was a cheerleader. It was there that he met and married his first love, Verenus June Turner. After graduating from high school, Leonard went to work at Firestone Tire and Rubber building tires during the day and going to law school at night. He received his law degree from Southern School of Law (later to become Memphis University) in June 1958. He was admitted to the Bar and subsequently went into practice, first with Seymour Rosenberg, then Hershel Rosenberg and finally into private practice, continuing to serve his legal clients while also working as a real estate closing attorney at Title Assurance and Escrow in partnership with his eldest son, Kris Van Eaton. In 1959, he married his wife of 56 years, Mary Lillian (Benton) Van Eaton. Together, they enjoyed an active social life being involved with Cotton Carnival and Ra Met Secret Society. They also travelled extensively with their close-knit group of friends.

He was a member of the Bar Association and Ra Met Secret Society, representing Ra Met as “King Ra XXXVII” during that years’ Cotton Carnival.

He was excessively frugal with his personal needs while almost excessively generous with contributions to a number of charitable organizations. He loved to travel with family and friends and travelled throughout the country and abroad. He participated in several sports like water and snow skiing, in his younger years, and played tennis until his late eighties. He generally enjoyed what life had to offer.

He was well known and well respected by his peers as an attorney. He loved his work and was active in his law practice until his passing at age 92.

He was a family man and loved to be around his immediate and extended family. He was the anchor in bringing his whole family together to celebrate live and each other. He was the bedrock of our family and will remain held reverently and lovingly in our hearts.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian, and his brothers, Billie and Charles. He is survived by his sister Vera Sue Friddell (Thomas), his children Bonnie Van Eaton Jones, Kris Stevens Van Eaton (Barbie), Leonard Walter Van Eaton (Lynne), Wesley Orin Van Eaton (Gini), Cynthia Lydia Van Eaton, 7 grandchildren and 4 ½ great grandchildren.

Services will be held on May 11, 2021 at Family Funeral Care, 4925 Summer Ave., Memphis, TN, with graveside internment at Memphis Memorial Park to follow. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Samaritan’s Purse and/or Disabled American Vets.