Obituary of David Eakin
David Brandriff Eakin, 73, died peacefully at his home in Pittstown, NJ on March 3, 2017, after a year-long battle with lung cancer.
David was the only son of Frank Eakin, Jr. and Mary (Brandriff). David traveled widely during his formative years, mucking around with his cousins in Newfield, NJ, bouncing from Pakistan to Germany, and attending high school at the Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India. It was while studying at the University of the Philippines that he met his wife of fifty years, Tess (Teresita Quinto). David finished his college degree at Grove City College, PA, and then served in the U.S. Army at Fort Carson, CO. He also earned a Masters degree in Urban Education from Rutgers University.
Strong family ties to New Jersey brought David and Tess to North Plainfield, where they raised their two daughters, Anne and Nora. David shared his love of literature as a high school English teacher (at Newark Arts High School, Somerset County VoTech, and Roselle High School), and then started a chimney sweeping business. His highly respected firm, David the Village Sweep, was well-known in central New Jersey not only for the logo of his smiling caricature dressed in top hat and tails by artist Harry Devlin, but also for the care and professionalism he showed his customers. David actively participated in the New Jersey Chimney Sweep Guild, serving in various roles including president. David the Village Sweep was a true family business, with Tess managing the office, Anne assisting with the computer, and Nora joining David on roofs. David and Tess ran the business for over 35 years, retiring in 2014.
In 2002, David and Tess moved to Pittstown, NJ, where they created a welcome retreat for their family and friends. David enjoyed cultivating the grounds of the property with Tess, taming the wild bramble to create walking paths and developing an extensive meadow and vegetable garden.
A keen story-teller, David often shared vibrant anecdotes of his life, told in his matter-of-fact way with an honest and wry delivery. Those stories include hitchhiking to San Francisco, coming of age in India, meeting the Dalai Lama, sailing Barnegat Bay, adventuring with various two- and four-legged companions, and his insights on everyday life. Like many proud fathers and grandfathers, he was not shy in sharing the accomplishments of his daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren.
David is survived by his loving wife Tess, daughter Nora Passamaneck and her husband Yale, daughter Anne Eakin Moss and her husband Ken, and three grandchildren, Isaac, Aaron, and Celia Rose (Moss).
To celebrate David's life, family and friends are welcome to gather on Saturday March 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hunterdon County, Rt 519 & Oak Summit Rd, Baptistown, NJ (GPS: 1 Oak Summit Rd., Frenchtown, NJ).
In lieu of flowers, donations in David's memory may be made to the First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hunterdon County, PO Box 122, Baptistown, NJ 08803, or the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, www.rcfp.org.
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