James Edwin Eakin, well known local businessman and owner/operator of Franklin Granite Works and Heath Memorials passed away Tuesday Feb. 16, 2021 surrounded by family after a valiant fight with an extended illness.
Born Feb. 15, 1960 in Franklin, PA., Jim was the son of the late Raymond V. Eakin & Mary K. Shindledecker Eakin.
Jim was a graduate of Rocky Grove High School, became an Eagle Scout alongside his brother Richard, and then attended Clarion University. He then worked for his dad at Franklin Granite Works for many years before they acquired Heath Memorials in the mid 80’s. Jim bought the business from his father in the early 90’s. He was proud to be third generation owner/operator of the monument business. He has passed his ethics on to his son Brian, who has been shadowing his father and grandfather since high school. Brian, with his wife Ashleigh, will continue the business operations and now represent the fourth generation in this historic local business.
Jim was an entrepreneur and was involved in several businesses and persevered through whatever life threw his way. He was dedicated to his business, his family, his community and took great pride helping others. He worked on several projects in the community and especially enjoyed working closely with local Veterans organizations to honor those who served.
He had a passion for racing whether it was cars or four wheelers, NASCAR or dirt. He was ecstatic when he obtained a set of Hot Passes, and was able to meet Jeff Gordon. He passed his love of racing on to his children, and as they were growing up, he took his family and friends to local and eventually national fourwheeler races. Jim was the team mechanic, wrenching his family to many national placings, including 3 national championships, which he was very proud of.
He loved to travel with family every year, exploring new and unique destinations. One of his favorite trips was to the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park. He also enjoyed going to auctions, collecting Lionel Trains, and attending train shows, but his favorite pastime was spoiling his grandchildren, and proudly speaking of all the family accomplishments.
Jim spent the last 21 years with his wife and companion the former Dorothy Francine Myers, who survives. They were married on February 17, 2012. Together they worked side by side running the business and enjoying their family. You would rarely find one, without the other. They enjoyed watching wildlife in the back yard of their family home with Happy, their dog.
He is survived by 7 children:
Angela M. Brown & her husband David of Cookeville, TN
Clinton J., Eakin & his wife Michelle of Kennerdell
MaryBeth White & her husband Matt of Warren, PA.
Brian S. Eakin & his wife Ashleigh of Seneca
Latasha Scharff & her husband Andrew of Seneca
Nick Rice & Heather Tartara of Pittsburgh
Michael Jones of Parker
Tyler Brown & his wife Becky
Madison Brown, Chase Eakin
Casey Eakin, Lily White
Mia Eakin and Calleigh Eakin
one great granddaughter:
Raelyn Justin Brown
Richard Eakin & his wife Darlene of Pearl Bullion
and niece: Chrissy Smyth & her husband Charlie
and two great nephews:
Braden & Landon Smyth
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his stepmother Rosemary Eakin and a grandson Justin Brown
There will be no public services, at Jim’s request. A private Celebration of Life will commence at a later date.
Memorials in Jim's name may be made to the Boy Scouts of America, the V.E.T.S Honor Guard or to the Rocky Grove Fire department.
The Reinsel Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent at www.reinselfuneralhome.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James E. Eakin, please visit our floral store.