Dundee/Lakemont — John Roger Eatherton, 75, of Dundee, died Monday, March 23, 2020 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, in Penn Yan.
Due to current restrictions of the coronavirus, there will be no calling hours and no memorial services. There will be a celebration of life at future date to be announced and all will be welcome. He will be buried in Lakemont at the Lakemont Cemetery which overlooks vineyards in all directions a peaceful resting place.
Roger, as he was known to most, was born Feb. 10, 1945 in Rapid City, S.D., the only son of the late John R. and Hazel Irene (Olson) Eatherton Sr. He graduated from Rapid City High School in 1963, and continued his education at South Dakota school of Mines & Technology, earning his Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1969. He spent his early career at American Can. He was a gifted designer of high speed glue lines in the carton converting industry and a productivity expert. He left corporate life in 1992 after buying an old apple orchard with 1800s stone barn in 1989. He repaired and renovated the infrastructure, converted the cider room into a bakery, and taught himself to bake, initially apple pies but added product lines and, in true engineering fashion, managed to single- handedly mass produce cookies, pies, breads etc. He added a deli and ice cream production and continued the cider business in addition to keeping the orchards sprayed, pruned, and the gardens ploughed and planted. It became a Bucks County destination spot.
He sold the business in 2009 after buying a few vineyards up in the Finger Lakes, which looked like a fun retirement project, proceeded to learn all about grapes — tying, pruning, brush chopping, harvesting etc. all the while looking at an old falling-down barn on the property and wondering if it would be a good project. He turned it into a mini version of the Pennsylvania business, as there seemed to be so few food places available to the local communities. And so Tabora Farm and Winery became a reality. Upon his death the project is not complete. There have been delays in converting the quonset into a tasting room, but his vision is almost complete.
He is survived by his loving wife, Jane, whom he married in South Africa in 1983 and five children, Celeste Hunt of Peachtree City, Ga., Melanie Eatherton Colley of Mooresville N.C., John R Eatherton III of Quakertown Pa., Robert L Eatherton of Peachtree City, Ga, and Caitlin Eatherton of Spring City, Pa.; 12 grandchildren; a sister, Janet Kinsley of Nazareth, Pa..; and two nephews, Rich and Dan Kinsley.
Those wishing to make memorial donations may consider the Dundee Fire Company Emergency Squad, 12 Union St. Dundee N.Y. 14837.
Arrangements are by the Baird Funeral Home, 36 Water St., Dundee. Online condolences can be sent by visiting www.bairdfuneralhomedundee.com.