Leonard Eaton

Leonard J. Eaton

1934 - 2020

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Obituary of Leonard J. Eaton

Leonard J. Eaton died suddenly on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 in Tulsa. He was 84. Len led the Bank of Oklahoma as chief executive and chairman from 1978 to 1991. He later served as a consultant to family-owned businesses in Oklahoma, including Renberg’s stores, the Nordam Group and World Travel, where he retired as president in 2007. But he was proudest of the work he did to benefit Tulsa. He was one of the visionaries behind River Parks and was the first chairman of the park authority. He chaired the University Center at Tulsa, now Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, which let Tulsans work toward bachelors’ and graduate degrees at state schools. As chairman of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, he pushed to improve early childhood education. Len was born September 18, 1934 and grew up in Bronxville, NY where he met Patricia Pride, who became his wife of 62 years. He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree and did postgraduate work at Harvard Business School. He spent his early career at First National City Bank, now known as Citibank, where he specialized in energy lending and helped finance the Trans Alaska Pipeline. After moving to Tulsa with his family in 1972 to join what was then National Bank of Tulsa, he served on many boards, including Hillcrest Medical Center, Holland Hall School, the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy and the University of Tulsa. A member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for nine years, he served as chairman in 2001. He was a trustee of the Meadville Lombard Theological School, a Unitarian seminary in Chicago, and reveled in his time on the advisory council for the Harry Ransom Center for the University of Texas at Austin. Those who knew Len treasured his forceful intellect, wry humor, and boundless curiosity about the world, which he and Patty travelled from Alaska to Antarctica and many points in between. Len died after a traumatic brain injury. He is survived by his wife and children -- Leslie, Pam and Alex; their spouses: Mark Vamos, Ted Zukoski and Diane Tritt Eaton. He also leaves five grandchildren: Elizabeth Vamos; Edward (Ned) and Margaret (Ash) Zukoski; and James and Garrett Eaton. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at 4:30 pm at All Souls Unitarian Church, 2952 S. Peoria Ave., Tulsa. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a contribution to the Len Eaton Memorial Fund at Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 South Yale Avenue, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK 74136. These tax-exempt donations will support the River Parks Foundation, Family and Children’s Services and Oklahoma Nature Conservancy. Ninde Funeral & Cremation (918) 742-5556 ninde.com

Memorial Service

4:30 pm
Saturday, February 8, 2020
All Souls Unitarian Church
2952 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States