Over the years, many great people have contributed to the Journal’s success, like Henry Ballman, Gene Robinson, Jim Myers and Barbara Brown Meyer, to name a few. Today, the MJ is still a family-owned venture, and a small staff works hard to deliver a product that reaches tens of thousands of local readers each month. We’d like for you to meet them here.
Meet the Team
George Earle Eaton - Founder
Editor-in-chief (in Memoriam)
The MJ Story
The Maturity Journal was founded in 1986 by George Eaton, and the publication has served the Evansville area ever since. George was an excellent all-around athlete at Evansville Reitz High School who led the basketball team in scoring before graduating in 1936. He discovered a love for journalism early and eventually wrote a sports column for the Evansville Courier before serving as the editor of several area newspapers. He also started a family with his wife Lois and helped raised three girls, Janet, Charlotte and Donna, and a son, Ron.
At the age of 65, when most folks are slowing down to enjoy retirement, George surveyed the local media landscape and saw an obvious void in the journalism market. Fueled by the realization that there were no publications that met the wants and needs of the 50+ age group, he took a leap of faith and the Maturity Journal was born. With a genuine fire in his belly, George Eaton laid the groundwork for building a publication designed for (in George’s words) “those old enough to know they don’t know all the answers but young enough to still be looking for them.”
Ron, the son of MJ founder George Eaton, was a 1968 graduate of Evansville North High School and was a member of the 1967 State basketball champion Huskies. After graduation, Ron attended IU, earning his degree in 1972 with sights on becoming a teacher and coach. He spent 7 years as a head football coach and English teacher before entering the business world in Indianapolis.
After 10 years, Ron’s itch for journalism needed to be scratched, and he followed his father’s lead and set out to build the Indiana Maturity Journal, a magazine similar to the MJ that would serve the entire state. Not long after launching the IMJ, Ron received word that his father was gravely ill and he learned that George was very concerned about his 5-year-old labor of love, the Maturity Journal. Ron quickly agreed to move back home, and he and his wife, Suzy, packed up their three kids (Kelly, Chase & Casey) and headed south.
Although Ron does some writing for the Journal, most of his efforts go into editing, distribution and ad sales. He has also found time in the last 25 years to create a game show (BACKATCHA & SMAKITBAK) that has aired on Channel 14 with Jeff Lyons as the host. In addition, Ron has written two books that tell the stories of many of the area’s greatest athletes, teams and sports programs. (Local Legends: The Stories behind the Headlines and Local Legends II: The Stories Continue). If you or someone you know is a sports fan, you can read the tables of contents, read excerpts and learn how to purchase the books by visiting mtpublishing.com or feel free to call Ron personally at (812) 858-1395.
The real brains of the operation, and matriarch of the Maturity Journal, is Suzy Eaton, Ron’s wife. Although she stays very busy with three children and nine grandchildren, Suzy still works a full-time job. She also finds time to act as the Journal’s business manager, and she has even done a little writing with an advice column called “Suzy Says”.
Chase Eaton, son of Ron & Suzy, lives in Indianapolis with his wife-Sarah and 2 boys- Skyler & Cameron. Full time, he is a financial coach for Primerica helping families reach retirement and other financial goals. He has independently learned website development and has helped us create this website. We are excited that our readers are using technology to submit their contest entries and all of the other great features on the site. Each month more and more people are using the website for contests, photos & additional information that isn't found in the print edition.
Peggy Newton grew up in Evansville, making her the first Hoosier-born member of the family. She attended Caze Elementary School and then Harrison, where she graduated in 1971. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at USI when it was still called ISUE.
As a life-long movie buff, she can happily say her first job, at age 16, was at the Evansville Drive-In at Morgan and Green River. A longtime love of genealogy inspired her to seek employment at Willard Library, where she served as an archives assistant and library assistant in Special Collections.
Almost by accident she started writing true crime stories. While doing research for a client at Willard Library, she landed on a microfilmed newspaper article about the trial of Leslie Irvin, a notorious serial killer from the Evansville area. As she researched the material, she became fascinated by the way the case affected the tri-state. The result was a 13-part series in the Maturity Journal that became the most-read series in the magazine’s history. After learning even more about the case, Peggy is writing a book on the Leslie Irvin case with the goal of completing it in the near future.
Peggy Newton is the Journal’s elder statesman among our writers, and her outstanding flair for the art has been a staple for our readers for over 20 years.