ELIZABETH EATON PASSES AWAY
From: Frank Ybarra
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 11:15 PM
To: SSQQ Newsletter
I have some very sad news. I felt I should tell you, because your
classes were the start of it all. My darling wife Elizabeth passed
away three weeks ago.
We are both in our sixties, but dancing kept
us young at heart and active. I met Liz there in the C/W classes
and just fell in love with her. We married and have had the best
five (almost six) years of my life. She and I just clicked.
was my love, my friend, and the absolute best wife a man could ever
I tell you something. What we learned there wasn't wasted. We
traveled extensively until about three months, ago when her illness
just dominated our time. But we made it a point to dance in every
new place we went to. That became our little mantra. "We must
dance at least once here".
And, boy did we dance, occasionally in
some very strange places and towns. It was so much fun. I'm not
that good a dancer, as you guys surely know. You taught me to dance
a little. She taught me to enjoy it a lot. Don't get me wrong, I
tried very hard to remember our lessons. My feet are like bricks,
and my head is twice as hard. But like Liz always told me, we'll
just keep doing it until we get it right or we get tired. Either
way, it was a lot of fun and she was such a good sport to put up
with me. Always had a smile for me, so pretty. We came back here
for a class from time to time. We really liked your school. She
always wished we had more time to take more lessons.
our dancing towards the end, really bothered her. Both of us missed
having fun together that way. We acted like it was no big deal, but
I could see it in her eyes. Something maybe you didn't
know, she was big into ballroom and tango up in Boston. She was
really pretty good. She always told me that she had just promised
herself that if she ever came to Texas she would learn some Texas
two step (lucky me).
I took her to Lexington Kentucky to rest in her family plot. I will
have a memorial service for her on March 15th here in Houston.
There will be snacks and a little music. A chance for friends and
family to share a little time with all the wonderful memories that
this great woman left all of us. She will be missed.
The Medical Center is starting the "Dr. Elizabeth Eaton Fellowship"
for interns, I'm not absolutely sure as to that title, but it will
be something along those lines. I know this is not the kind of
story for your newsletter, but consider it between friends. I just
wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff. You
are all talented, gifted, kind people. I will always have a special
place in my heart for all of you. You started it all.
There have been
several memorial services, write-ups, articles, written on
her. Latest one is being done now at Tufts in Boston by many
of her colleagues from that time in her career. But, if you
want to do something in your writings, Rick, she would think
that was very, very special. One correction, though. She was
not an M.D. She was a librarian yes, but a very special one.
You know her, probably the tops in her field, but would
never admit it. Recognized throughout the medical community,
in the U.S. and a lot of countries overseas. Her claim was
that she believed in "clinical" librarians. Worked very hard
for years to have these positions recognized and utilized in
the medical community. We actually went to Ireland and she
helped another colleague to institute that program in
Elizabeth was a Doctor in every
sense of the word, that was her title and no one anywhere
would have ever thought of addressing her in any other way.
But, she was a doctor in her field, a PhD, not an MD. She
did however teach classes in medical school to young doctors
showing them how to access medical journals and many
resources available to help them make quicker and better
diagnoses. She was a crackerjack and the absolute tops in
her field. I never knew a sharper mind and her retention of
facts was amazing. I miss her in so many ways. One funny way
is that I have not completely solved a New York Times
crossword puzzle since she left. She would dissect, devour,
and completely demolish the Times crossword puzzle every day
at breakfast. I, on the other hand, would read her Beetle
Bailey every morning, she would pat my hand, smile, and say
"That's so nice, Frank"
Thanks again, Frank Ybarra
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: Frank and Elizabeth met at SSQQ in 2004. They
were married in June 2005. Last year, Frank sent me a very moving
story about his return to Vietnam. He and Elizabeth retraced some
of his steps from the war. It was tough on him to relive some of
the memories, but he said he cherished the experience.
There is a bit of mystery surrounding Frank's wife Elizabeth.
Apparently she was very humble. I really liked her. Elizabeth had
a real spark. I could tell she was very bright. Whenever I got
nosy, she always told me she was a librarian. So each week I would
ask her some stupid book question in class. She always answered
with a smile and seemed knowledgeable.
Then Frank's story mentioned the "Dr. Elizabeth Eaton Fellowship for
interns". That's when I knew I had been had. Elizabeth was
obviously an extremely talented physician!
I don't know about you, but that was an incredibly moving letter
that Frank wrote about his love for his wife Elizabeth. It is very
obvious that the time they did get to spend together was a wonderful
experience. Very sad and very