Verla Patton Eston (Rutherford) “Pat” passed away peacefully on January, 10, 2020 after a period of declining health at age 92. She is held in the hearts of so many family and friends and will be remembered most for her quiet strength, leadership, and a kindgenerous spirit. She was a woman of faith, with great integrity and wisdom, along with a strong sense for order and sensibilities.
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Born November 7, 1927 in Wichita, KS to the parents of Verla (Patton) and James G. Rutherford, Pat lived a long and full life. She was preceded in death by her older sister Jo Ann (Ely) and younger brothers James P. and Harry G Rutherford. She was proud to have her roots in Kansas but also made homes in Deerfield, IL, Southfield, MI, Newton, MA and finally Bedford, MA where she enjoyed the friendship, support and enrichment of the Carleton-Willard Village (“CWV”) community where she lived for the last eight years of her life.
Pat was a woman ahead of her times. She was a graduate of Wichita State University holding a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. She shared many stories about the unique role she played as one of a handful of women in the mathematics department during her studies there, in the late 1940s. After graduation she felt limited by job possibilities in her field but three decades later went on to receive a Master of Science in Accountancy from Bentley College in Waltham, MA and attained status as a Certified Public Accountant in 1983.
While a day student at Wichita State, Pat enjoyed sorority life and many other activities. A walk home from school one day found her being admired from the man who would become her husband for over fifty years. H. Norman Eston (Epstein) knew immediately that Pat was the love of his life. They were married on February 4, 1950 in the home of Pat’s grandparents in Wichita. Together with Norm, Pat created a loving family with three children. She was beloved by, and devoted to, her in-laws the late Samuel E. and Diana (Arst) Epstein.
Pat loved Peanuts cartoons, chocolate chip cookies, penguins, playing bridge, solving Sudoku puzzles and travel. She was a staunch supporter of the arts and enjoyed attending concerts and live theater, ballets, and art museums. Pat even grew to enjoy Opera performances. Her bridge club and Second Church friends were dear to her heart along-side her first friends from grade school in Wichita to her last friends at CWV. Her friendships were strong and many. Pat made a positive and lasting impact where ever she went and what ever she did.
Pat loved being a stay at home mom and creating beautiful spaces and opportunities for her family. She had an eye for decor and a knack for fixing many things. She found many ways to use her talents both at home and the wider community. In the late 1970s, Pat started her professional career as a paraprofessional of a small accounting firm and then with Goodwin, Procter & Hoar where she worked as a Financial Planning Specialist/Tax Accountant. She subsequently opened her own tax preparation business working with clients until she was nearly 80 years old.Pat held many titles from Treasurer of Second Church in West Newton, MA to President/Treasurer of three different Girl Scout Councils.
Most of all Pat loved her family. She will be forever missed by her daughter Debra D. Eston, son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Patricia Eston and daughter Rebeka and her husband John Salemi. By far though her favorite titles were those used by her grand-daughters: Dr. Michelle Gruner (Eston) and her husband Will; Carolyn MacDonald (Salemi); and, Cathy Aikman (Salemi) and her husband Bill along with her great-granddaughters Savanna MacDonald, and Samantha and Macy Aikman. Pat was loved and admired by so many including many nieces, nephews and their families. Mom, Gramma, Gigi, Aunt Patsy, friend, she embraced each of these roles with all of her heart and beamed with pride in all of our accomplishments.
There will be no calling hours. A private burial service will be held on February 1st at Newton Cemetery. Announcements of a Celebration of Life in honor of Pat will be made in the spring. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to All Newton Music School https://www.allnewton.org, American Diabetes Association https://www.diabetes.org, Girl Scouts of America https://www.girlscouts.org/en/adults/donate/donate.html, or a charity of your choice.