She was born November 12, 1920 to John and Vera Burton, longtime realtors and fruit ranchers in Wenatchee, WA.
Eunice graduated from Wenatchee High School (1938), Holy Names College with a B.A.
in Education (1942) and Whitworth College with a Master of Education degree (1972).
While a student at Holy Names, Eunice met Joseph Akins, who was attending Gonzaga University.
They married in 1943 and raised four sons, Joseph Jr., John, Richard and Patrick.
Eunice loved music and was a talented musician, playing violin, cello and piano and holding the 1st violin chair while a student at Holy Names.
She was a teacher for 37 years, starting her career in Wilbur and going on to schools in Coulee City, Wenatchee and finally to Spokane, teaching in elementary schools for many years.
She had a positive influence on many children; after her retirement, it was not unusual for her to be greeted by former students in restaurants and theaters.
During her career, Eunice continued her involvement in music, leading several bands, orchestras, and directing church choirs, including the choir of the newly-formed St. Thomas More Parish.
During the 1950’s, our family fell in love with Priest Lake, building a cabin in Pinto Point bay and creating wonderful memories.
Mom would pack up the car and leave for the lake on the last day of school, not returning until the day before classes started in the fall.
Eunice was very involved with the Spokane Education Association, serving on the Executive Board of the SEA, and as a delegate to state and national Education Association Assemblies.
Always taking civic responsibility seriously, she was President of Altrusa International Women’s Service Club, President of Women of Rotary, and served on the board of directors of the South Hill Senior Center.
Following Eunice and Joe’s divorce, she reunited with a childhood friend, Marvin Chase, at a class reunion.
They married in 1985 and went on to enjoy many years of love and companionship, going on 30 cruises and enjoying duplicate bridge (both were Life Masters in the American Contract Bridge League) until Marv’s passing in 2005.
In addition to her husband Marvin, Eunice was preceded in death by her son Rich and her brothers Leroy and Austin.
She is survived by her sons Joseph (Sharon), John (Cathy) and Pat (Teri); her grandchildren Jerrod, Chris, Julie, Kenneth, Alyssa, Ryan, Jessica, Colin, Remi and ten great-grandchildren.
Eunice is also survived by her brother Martin Burton and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Eunice will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 10:00 am at Heritage Funeral Home.
Her inurnment in Wenatchee will follow in October during the apple harvest, following the Burton family tradition that EVERYONE shows up for the harvest!
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