John Dayton, 69, of Clarence, passed away suddenly but peacefully on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at his home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. John's United Church of Christ in Clarence with Matt Schneider-Adams officiating. Visitation will also be held at the church from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Burial will be at a later date in Dayton Cemetery.
John was born March 4, 1949, to Orville and Julia Dayton in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He graduated from Dayton High School, where he met his high school sweetheart Darlene Hanson. They were united in marriage on Aug. 29, 1970, in Dayton. She passed away on May 6, 2012.
John is survived by his daughter, Abby (Aaron) Fritz of Clive; grandson, Keenan; brother, Rick (Paula) Dayton of Iowa City; sisters-in-law, Ann Johnson of Manson and Bonnie Hanson-Buckley (Jim) of Port Townsend, Wash.; nephews, Michael (Melanie) Dayton, Max (Natalie) Dayton, Ethan (Chris) Johnson, Duke Buckley, Byron Buckley, Vernon Buckley and Aaron Buckley; nieces, Mali (Scott) Dayton, Karen Safly and Charlene Buckley; as well as each of his very special great-nieces and
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 42 years, Darlene Dayton.
Many are aware of the pride John took in his young adult years of being deemed Duke of the Hobos.
John worked very hard to advance his education career. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and attended Drake University for his master's in education in addition to a superintendent's certificate. He began as a secondary education teacher at Battle Creek-Ida Grove Community School District in Ida Grove, Iowa, in 1971. He became the curriculum director for the community school district from 1994 to 1996. John moved into a principal role at Northwood-Kensett High School from 1996 until 2002. He promised not to move Abby during high school so as she graduated from Northwood-Kensett, he sought his first superintendent position in Greenfield at Nodaway Valley CSD from 2002 until 2009. A second superintendency and one last move with Darlene to Clarence to oversee the North Cedar CSD took place from 2009 until 2012, when he retired in June.
John was a devoted husband and father. He was dedicated to learning and the education of others. Even after retirement, John substitute taught for many years and stepped in as interim superintendent for North Cedar in 2016. He and Dar loved to travel and ensured family vacations every year. He continued his travels, always as road trips, after Dar passed and, in recent years, very much enjoyed his time in the first part of each year spent on Hutchinson Island in Jensen Beach, Fla. John took the greatest joy in becoming a "Papa" in August 2016 when his grandson Keenan John was born.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the North Cedar Education Foundation or the Clarence Public Library.
Chapman Funeral Home in Clarence is caring for John and his family. Please share a memory and/or condolence at www.chapmanfh.com.