Cover photo for Arthur Eaton's Obituary
Arthur Eaton Profile Photo
1929 Arthur 2016

Arthur Eaton

February 16, 1929 — October 28, 2016

Arthur J. Eaton, Jr. age 87, of Randolph Township, passed away at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, on October 28th, after a hard fought seven week battle with aspiration pneumonia. He was surrounded by his family and friends. Art was born to Arthur J. Eaton, Sr. and Alice Hendrickson Eaton in Waukon, Iowa on February 16, 1929. When Art was a year old, he and his family moved to Apple Valley where his parents owned and operated Eaton's Ranch, a business that would stay operational into the 1970's. Art worked with his family at the ranch helping with various chores such as hay rides, sleigh rides, trail rides and rodeos. Feeling that he would get a better education than from the one room school nearby, his parents drove him 13 miles one way to and from Nathan Hale Grade School in South Minneapolis for his elementary school education. Art then attended Breck School in St. Paul for two years and graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1947. When Art was a teenager his parents purchased the Lilac Way Riding Academy and Pastime Arena in St. Louis Park, which is still in existence today as the Roller Gardens Skating Rink. Art remembered riding horses down Lilac Way which is now Highway 100. Art proudly served our country in the Air Force during the Korean War as a communications specialist. Eaton's Ranch had been out of the family for several years but came back into Art's life when he and his wife Joan repurchased it in the mid 1970's and again offered horse boarding, hay and sleigh rides as well as a restaurant on site called The Maverick. As Apple Valley started growing around the ranch property, they discontinued the horse part of the operation and turned the business into the very popular Eaton's Western Store which they operated until it was taken by the highway department for the expansion of Cedar Ave. in 1982. Unfortunately, Joan passed away from cancer in 1980. Art was responsible for developing a large portion of Apple Valley including Palomino Hills, Timberwick, Saddle Ridge and Rodéo Hills. The Apple Valley High School sits on property which was once part of Eaton's Ranch. Art met his wife Gretchen (Menne) at the western store and they were married in 1983 and became involved in raising, selling and racing thoroughbred horses at Canterbury Park in 1986, one year after Canterbury Park opened. It was a business and sport that Art enjoyed and participated in until the time of his death. Art and Gretchen were honored to be inducted into the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame in 2003. Art is survived by his loving wife, friend and business partner of 33 years, Gretchen, who was also his constant companion; children Sue Kennedy of New Prague, Todd Eaton of Cannon Falls, Barbara Eaton of San Diego; six granddaughters Liz Kennedy-Laliberte (Damon), Erin Kennedy, Katy Kennedy, Breanna Kennedy, Danielle Eaton and Melissa Eaton and three great-grandsons, John Finnegan, Lincoln Alessandro and Graeme Arthur, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. He was preceded in death by both of his parents in 1959 and his sister Maxine in in 1965. Art was a very generous, loving man who made friends where ever he went and will be missed by all who knew him. He was a true gentleman and one of the "good guys". Art's family would like to express our sincere appreciation to the countless care givers who displayed so much compassion and concern to both Art and Gretchen at the three hospitals they resided in during Art's recent health crisis and journey to get well; Northfield Hospital, Mayo Cannon Falls and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. We would also like to extend our thanks to the other doctors who have cared for him over the last few years. We would especially like to thank the doctors and staff at the Family Health Clinic in Farmington for their exemplary care and friendship over the years, especially to our wonderful doctor, Dr. Nick Krawczyk. His dedication, commitment and genuine concern for both Art and Gretchen sets the standard to heights most physicians could only aspire to reach. Thank you Dr. Nick, your kindness will never be forgotten. In lieu of flowers and to honor Art's commitment to the wellbeing of retired thoroughbred race horses, memorials are preferred to two thoroughbred retirement organizations that were close to Art's heart. They are Canter Minnesota, 18181 Luedke Lane, Prior Lake, MN 55372 and/or Bowman's Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption, 6905 – 162nd Ave. S.W., Rhame, ND 58651. Both organizations have helped us find homes for some of our retired race horses in the past. A visitation will be held at Lundberg Funeral Home on Friday, November 4th from 3:00 PM until 8:00 PM and the funeral service will take place on Saturday, November 5th at St. Pius V Catholic Church in Cannon Falls at 11:00 AM with visitation starting at 9:30 AM. A luncheon will be served after the service followed by burial at St. Joseph's of the Lakes Cemetery in Lino Lakes, MN at 3:30 PM.

Funeral Home: Lundberg Funeral Home 5839 Hwy 19 Blvd Cannon Falls, MN US 55009

Previous Events

Friday, November 4, 2016
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Lundberg Funeral Home

5839 Hwy 19 Blvd
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

Saturday, November 5, 2016
11:00 AM
St. Pius V Catholic Church

410 W. Colvill St.
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

with visitation from 9:30-11 a.m. at church

Graveside Service
Saturday, November 5, 2016
3:30 PM
St. Joseph of the Lakes Cemetery

171 Elm Street
Lino Lakes, MN 55014

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