ILR Meet the Instructors: Dr. David L. Eaton

Dr. David L. Eaton

Ken Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is proud to introduce Dr. David Eaton as a new ILR faculty member. Professor Eaton has more than 40 years of teaching and doing research at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. His specialties are medical toxicology, chemicals and cancer risk, environmental toxicity, drug metabolism, natural toxicity (plant and animal poisons), and chemical risk assessment for environmental pollutants. He currently teaches two graduate-level courses in the Pharmacology and Toxicology program at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

David was born and raised in Helena, Mont. He earned a B.S. degree in premedical sciences in 1974 at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. He then attended the University of Kansas Medical Center where he received a Ph.D. degree in pharmacology and toxicology in 1978. His academic career began at UW in 1979 where he held many distinguished university positions, including professor of public health, dean and vice provost of the Graduate School for Research, and emeritus professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health. Dr. Eaton’s most prestigious honor was being elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2011.

David and his wife Kathleen moved from Seattle to SaddleBrooke in 2019. They have three children; two daughters living in the Seattle area and a son living in Fairbanks, Alaska. When David has time for hobbies, he enjoys wine-making and ballroom dancing (what a great combination).

Dr. Eaton’s five-session ILR course starts on Feb. 23 and is titled “Chemicals, Chemicals—Everywhere Chemicals: In Your Medicine Cabinet, Garage, Diet, Air, Water, and the Creatures Living in the Sonoran Desert—What’s Safe, What’s Not?” Specific topics will cover Early History of Toxic Substances; Why Me, Doc? What Causes Cancer?; Mother Nature Is a Bitch; To Fluoridate or Not to Fluoridate; and How Safe Is Safe Enough?

For more information about course content or the ILR, go to

William A. Soffa

Dr. William Soffa

Kenneth Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is proud to welcome Dr. William Soffa as a member of the ILR faculty. He was born in Pittsburgh, the son of a steelworker, and grew up during the boom years of the steel industry. Bill attended Carnegie Tech on a basketball scholarship, graduating in 1961 with a B.S. in metallurgical engineering. He earned an M.S. in materials engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963 and a Ph.D. from Ohio State in physical metallurgy in 1967. His graduate studies were followed by a fellowship to pursue postdoctoral studies and research at Oxford University in England in the area of phase transformations. After a year at Oxford, he joined the faculty of Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh in 1968 where he spent 34 years teaching and doing research in materials science. In 2004 he joined the Materials Science Department at the University of Virginia (UVA). During his academic career, he had the honor of being a visiting scholar and Professor/Gastprofessor at the University of Goettingen (Germany), University of California (Berkeley), ETH-Zurich, and the University of Vienna (Austria). His research work has focused on phase transformations in solids, high-strength alloys, and magnetic materials.

Bill and his wife Mary Lou were married in 1963 and have two daughters, both living in Connecticut. They moved from Charlottesville, Va., to SaddleBrooke in 2023 but bought property in SaddleBrooke in 2001. When Bill has time for hobbies, he enjoys music, studying the philosophy of science, and he is an arm-chair historian. Mary Lou recently retired from the University of Virginia after serving 10 years as chair of the Computer Science Department. I’m sure the Soffas will be a welcome addition to the SaddleBrooke community.

Dr. Soffa will be teaching a course titled Magnetism and Magnetic Materials in the Modern World in the winter/spring term 2024. Watch the SaddleBrooke newspapers and the ILR website for course contents and registration. For more information, go to