Eleanor Eltinge Burton

EleanorBurtonEleanor Eltinge Burton passed away peacefully at Horizon House in Seattle Oct 22nd at the age of 90.

A longtime resident of Seattle and the Madison Park neighborhood she was born in Spokane to Russell and Eltinge Burton January 12th, 1925. Eleanor was the granddaughter of Spokane banking pioneer George S. Brooke. Her father, Russell Burton, was an actuary and vice president of New World Life insurance Co. In 1931 when New World Life headquarters were moved to Seattle Russell moved his family to a house overlooking lake Washington.
Eleanor attended Madrona Grade School and Garfield High School in Seattle and then traveled on the train to Smith College in Northampton, Mass where she studied history, math and economics graduating in June 1947. During war years she worked summers for Boeing Airplane Co. installing rivets in the wings of B-17 bombers.
After college Eleanor worked at a number of insurance firms in San Francisco and Boston where she gained practical experience. Boston and San Francisco also allowed her to indulge her growing appreciation for the arts including poetry, music and the theatre.
In 1955 Eleanor joined Group Health in Seattle where she worked until 1985 much of that time employed as the secretary to co- founder and vice president Rudolph H Molzan. In 1975 Eleanor was interviewed for an historical article about Group Health as she was one of the few remaining people from early days of the organization.
Eleanor was a member of the Seattle Tennis Club since the 1930’s and Epiphany Episcopal Church.
Eleanor was an amazing, fun person who was ahead of her times. She was a completely independent woman from the get go. She was well educated, well-traveled and intensely interested in the people and the community of Seattle.
Eleanor had a marvelous sense of history, a great sense of humor and a good memory. She always knew what was going on in the city especially big projects that were under way and what was proposed for the future and who was involved. She followed the activities and proposals of both fledgling and long established businesses in and around Seattle and the people who were making it happen. Visiting with Eleanor was always fascinating to anyone interested in commerce or history.
Eleanor remained young at heart and open to new ideas, she looked at the world with wonder and amazement; she stayed interested and sharp to the very end and never uttered a word that sounded like resignation or cynicism. Anyone who knew her was a lucky soul. When presented with news of the latest discovery or most recent debacle that affected her city, her famous exclamation was “oh gosssshh!”
A memorial service will be held for Eleanor Burton, Friday November 6th at 11:00AM.
Epiphany Episcopal Church


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