Elizabeth Eaton
Home Up



From: Frank Ybarra

Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 11:15 PM

To: SSQQ Newsletter

Subject:  Elizabeth


Rick,  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. 

Elizabeth was my love, my friend, and the absolute best wife a man could ever ask for. 

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.

 Her illness stopped 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 Dublin.

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 beautiful.                                                                                                                  

SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ