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John W. Dayton, born Oct. 22, 1927 in New Rochelle, New York, died Dec. 11, 2016.

He spent most of his youth in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he graduated from high school in 1945. He entered the College of William and Mary, where he served as Class President and graduated with a degree in Political Science in 1950.

He entered government service and served as a diplomat in Jordan, Somalia, Indonesia, and Japan, as well as in Washington, D.C., and Camp Peary. He then served as Assistant Director of Development for William and Mary.

After marrying his wife, Julie, John moved to Mathews in 1991. He quickly fell in love with his new community and began to devote his time to many committees and Boards in the county including the Bay School Community Arts Center, Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library, Mathews Rotary Club, Red Cross Blood Drive, Meals on Wheels, Mathews Alumni Society of the College of William and Mary and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He was additionally extremely active in animal rescue and returned several injured raptors to the Wildlife Center of Virginia. John was also a member of the Mattaponi Society of Friends Meeting.

A devoted family man and avid traveler, John was a lover of nature, music, and the written word. He enjoyed many hours on his front deck watching the osprey and feeding the swans each winter.

Through his work, his family and friends, and his community service, John leaves an astounding legacy that any man would be proud of. He will be sorely missed.