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Daniel E.  Alton, Jr.
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Obituary for Daniel E. Alton, Jr.

Daniel Elmer Alton, Jr. was born in Wellsville, OH on January 4, 1929 to Daniel Sr. and Mary Scott Alton. He grew up in Alliance, OH where he was the oldest of 3 boys that joined the family during the Great Depression. As a teenager, Dan made money to help his family by working in the local celery farms. After graduation from high school, he joined the Air Force and traveled the world. One tour took him to Springfield, MA where he met his future wife, Theresa (Terry) Cummings at an Air Force dance. She was tall and beautiful and captured Airman First Class Alton’s heart. They married on April 21, 1951 in Springfield. Dan was stationed around the world, including Alaska, Greenland, the Philippines, California, and the East Coast.
The newlyweds were thrilled to welcome Daniel III who was born in 1952 at Westover Air Force Base. The family grew when Rick was added in 1955 (born in Fort Belvoir, VA), and Lori in 1962 (born in Chicopee, MA). They eventually settled in Springfield, MA where Dan worked at Westover Air Reserve Base. He was an Airplane Maintenance Technician and achieved the rank of Sargent. He was involved in delivery of secret files to Washington, DC during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Dan completed his career with the military in 1968 and retired with honors. He kept busy with his hobbies including softball, bowling and woodworking in his well-outfitted wood shop.

He began his second career shortly thereafter at Mass Mutual Insurance Company as a Regional Claim Manager and then in Human Resources. He worked there until 1986 when he retired again. At that time he and Terry decided that they had had enough of the cold, northeast winters and moved to Lecanto, FL. There they began a new life in a growing community. Dan became the “mayor” of the neighborhood and organized many social event for the community. He was a member of an active golf foursome and play religiously every week. Dan and Terry danced at the weddings of each of their children, welcoming Patricia Kiely, Mary Ann Sellers and Kingman Bassett to the family.

However, the greatest joy of the Alton household was the arrival of 6 grandchildren: Sarah, Elizabeth, John and Kingman Bassett, and Kristina and Julia Alton. The Lecanto house came alive when the grandchildren were visiting: swimming in the pool, making chalk drawings on the driveway and enjoying amazing gourmet dinners made by “Poppa.” Dan and Terry trekked north each summer to spend time with the grandchildren and visit friends along the way.

Life was upended when Terry, the love of Dan’s life, passed away in 2007 after a long decline during which Dan cared for her lovingly. Shortly thereafter, he moved to an assisted living facility and underwent several surgeries. Eventually, he moved to Cambridge Hills Assisted Living Facility in Roxboro, NC to be closer to family. His son Rick dutifully took him on weekly adventures, to ever-increasing doctors’ appointments, always ending with a trip to lunch and Walmart. As his health declined in the ensuing 5 years, Rick managed his care while his family kept close ties through phone calls and visits. In late November, he was taken to Duke Regional Hospital where he passed away peacefully on December 1, 2017. He leaves behind a family who is grateful for the caregivers who have supported him over the years and the wonderful memories he has shared with them all.


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Previous Events

Gathering of Friends and Family Following Service

Monday

4

Dec

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Gathering Room at Clements Funeral Home

1117 Broad St
Durham, NC 27705

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