Remembering Rhoda Eaton

By Kevin Dye Contributing writer

August 7, 2014

Rhoda B. Eaton, a long-time member of the West Jefferson Planning and Zoning Commission, was posthumously recognized by village council Monday for her dedication to the community.

Eaton had served on the commission for the past 12 years, including several as chairperson. She recently passed away due to complications of an illness.

Council presented Eaton’s daughter, Rebecca Pasholk, with a certificate of recognition in honor of her mother’s service to the village. All members of council shared their fondest members of Eaton and sadness at her passing.

“I would like to say that I’ve known Rhoda for the whole time that she served,” council President Ron Garver said. “She had her whole heart into the planning and zoning commission. She wanted to do the best job for the commission and the village. She was a great person and a wealth of knowledge for the village.”

“I can’t say enough about Rhoda,” added Mayor Darlene Steele. “The thing I will remember the most about Rhoda is she would let the phone ring as long as it would take for me to get to the phone. She was a special individual and she will be greatly missed.”

Pasholk thanked council and told them her mother kept volumes of detailed notes from her years on the commission, which she has gathered for the village to keep.

“I just want to thank everyone for their sympathies,” Pasholk said. “My mother kept detailed notes on planning and zoning and I would find them stored everywhere around her home. I even asked her once, ‘Where don’t you keep these notes, Mom?’ I took all of her notes to Arnie Booth for the village to have them.”

In other council business, a resolution was approved to expand the village’s emergency system in the event of a tornado. The resolution authorizes the Madison County Emergency Management Agency to apply for a grant on behalf of the village to install an additional tornado siren.

The village has an opportunity to have the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimburse up to half of the cost for the siren, including the mounting pole and installation. If the grant is awarded, the village will receive a reimbursement up to $12,500 for the tornado siren project.

“The siren will cost $12,500 or less and the Madison County Emergency Management Agency will turn in the grant,” Steele said. “The opportunity is there and we turned it down several years ago. For $12,500 I would rather be over protected than under protected.”

The village currently has two tornado sirens located at Hampton Cemetery and near Parsons Hardware on state Route 142. Experts will look at the current coverage area of those two sirens before deciding on a location for the new siren.

Kevin Dye covers the West Jefferson area for The Madison Press. He can be reached at