Cleon W. Easton, a widely known retired veterinarian, former supervisor of the Town of Machias and former member of the Cattaraugus County Legislature, died Wednesday at his home in Delevan. He was 86.
Dr. Easton, who was known by many as "Slim" or "Doc," practiced veterinary medicine in Machias for many years, as well as operating a farm and serving in many public capacities.
He was born in the Bucktooth area of Salamanca. His mother, the former Emma Frenz, died when he was age 2, and he lived with his aunt and uncle in Steamburg. At age 6, he went to live in several different homes in Little Valley, doing chores on local farms and developing his love of farm animals and appreciation for small farmers.
He later found a home with the Charles Carr family, working in the family's dairy. Upon his graduation from Little Valley High School in 1943, he went to Union College as part of the Navy's V-12 program. He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, including a year in the Pacific Theater of Operations, and was discharged with the rank of ensign.
He returned to Union College for three years and was graduated from Cornell University in 1951 with a degree in veterinary medicine.
Dr. Easton founded the Machias Veterinary Service in 1967 with his friend and colleague, Dr. Melvin Pollock. He cared for countless animals, large and small, during his years in Machias and developed relationships with their owners as well. He particularly enjoyed making farm calls at many of the small farms in the Machias area.
After retiring from his own practice, Dr. Easton continued his professional work from 1977 to 1983 as a track veterinarian for the state Racing and Wagering Board.
He and his wife, the former Anne Edmunds, moved to a small farm in Delevan where he raised animals and provided friends and neighbors with eggs and maple syrup.
As supervisor of the Town of Machias from 1964 to 1968, he helped to create the Town Park on Union Street and to form the Machias Water District, established the Youth Commission and helped to obtain a grant for the installation of the town swimming pool.
He was elected to the Cattaraugus County Legislature in 1968 and served there until 1974. He was a member of the advisory board of the Delevan branch of Citizens Central Bank -- now M&T Bank -- from 1963 to 1987 and was chairman of the Cattaraugus County Civil Service Commission from 1977 to 1996.
Dr. Easton and his wife delivered Meals on Wheels for 25 years and until recently he was an active member of Delevan United Methodist Church. He was a member of Glen A. Pratt Post 1160, American Legion, of Machias and was a Mason for 55 years.
Survivors, besides his wife, include three sons, H. Michael, Cleon III and Jesse Curry; two daughters, Edna Scherf and Anita Reisdorf; and three sisters, Doris Van Sickle, Wilma Bridges and Patricia Hartman.
Private services will be held today in the Babbitt & Easton Funeral Home, 7 N. Main St., Franklinville.