The Ardon Foundation was established in 1991 by Gene Eaton to help promote education. Education was a core value in his business and personal life. “Survive on purpose, be lucky by accident” was a favorite phrase and the sentiment is on display in the ECE scholarship.
Gene Eaton, Founder
(A Memorial for the Wyoming Geological Magazine)
Originally Submitted by Tom Stroock on July 11th, 2001
Gene Eaton, 78, a long practicing well-site geologist of 50 years experience, died peacefully in his sleep at his Casper home on August 17th, 2000. He was born April 1, 1922 in Seattle, Washington and studied Geology at the University of Colorado and Stanford, where he achieved his BS Degree. Prior to graduation he served as an Army weather observer at Chanute Field, Illinois; Ripon, Wisconsin; Pikes Peak; Colorado and the Yukon Territory of Alaska. Prior to military service he married Ardith Cleveland in 1942; she became his advisor, associate, friend and partner for 58 years.
Gene and Ardith moved their family to Casper in 1948 when he was a crew chief for Stanolind Oil and Gas Company. He subsequently joined the Geological Department of British American Oil Company and then became District Geologist for Sunray. He left that company in 1954 to start his own consulting business, where he soon established a reputation as the preeminent “well-sitter” in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. He continued his geological practice throughout Wyoming until 1992.
In 1965 he bought four Wyoming Avis Rental Car licensees and started Ardon Car Rental, a successful agency, which he operated until 1999. In 1960 he created the Ardon Subdivision next to the Casper Country Club and developed 19 home sites. A true philanthropist, he used his professional and business success to establish the Ardon Foundation, which awards college scholarships to deserving Wyoming students and will continue to do so, in his name, for many years to come.
Gene had a warm and winning personality, which he liked to conceal behind a gruff and wisecracking exterior. A recognized expert on Wyoming stratigraphy, he was always available for advice, consultation, help and support to his colleagues and associates. He was a supporter of many charitable organizations including Casper Stage III, Casper Artcore, Soul’s Anchor, Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army and anything connected with the Wyoming Geological Association. He was a sharp card player, an avid reader and a steadfast, loyal friend. In his later years he could generally be found having lunch with one or two of his cronies at the Casper Petroleum Club where he loved to regale visitors and acquaintances with stories of past Rocky Mountain oilfield characters with whom he had worked and played.
He is survived by Ardith (wife), Rick (son), Inda (granddaughter) and my many grieving friends who will miss the brightness of the light cast by his personality.
Board of Directors
Inda A. Eaton
Chairman of the Board
Richard A. Eaton
Chairman of the Executive Committee
Ardith L. Eaton
Leo Riley and Company
141 S. Center
Casper, WY 82601
307. 265. 3800