Charles ‘Charlie’ Henry Dayton was born Easter Sunday March 23, 1913 in King City, California to Joseph and Ethel Dayton. He had one sister and three brothers, Thelma, Egbert, Carroll and Harrison. All preceded him in death.
The family moved to the Waterford area where he attended grammar schools in Oakdale and Waterford. They moved to Ceres during his High School years and graduated from Ceres High School in 1931. He then attended Modesto Junior College and worked nights at the Shamrock Creamery. Eventually he needed to sleep and eat so he took a job with a rancher who was also doing some construction work. With depressions wages at 50 cents an hour he decided to build a house on his own. Every night was spent in the library reading about construction so everything was built perfectly. So, without a license or experience but a lot of ambition, the house was built. It is still lived in as originally built, in Modesto.
In 1938, Charlie met and married the love of his life, Florence de la Motte of Hazard, Nebraska. They started their honeymoon in a new house just built by Charlie. Together they raised four children; Cheryl, John, Lonn and Paul.
As a Licensed General Contractor he built many homes in the vicinity, eventually partnering with his brother-in-law under the name of Dayton and de la Motte. Later they opened a remodeling company under the name of Artcraft Industries employing 35 workers. Charlie is also credited for giving Turlock Cabinet, Crown Cultured Marble and Allcove in Sonora their start.
Charlie was a soft-spoken, quiet, modest, God fearing man, and above all honest. Next to the Lord he loved his large family and enjoyed cooking, gardening, reading and traveling.
Charlie discovered golf at age 50, when he was given a set of golf clubs for his birthday. He soon loved golf and eventually built a comfortable home on the Turlock Golf Course.
He became the TG&CC’s oldest playing member, has a hole-in-one, many tournament wins and started shooting his age at 78, and continued to play until this year. The saying went, “If you want to know where the center of the fairway is, look for Charlie’s ball”.
As the contractor he, with volunteers, built the original Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and had a deep love for the congregation, especially the children. He was the last of the nine signers of the charter and lived to see its growth and changes.
He was a member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, The Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Woodwork Institute, SIRS, TG&CC and Senior Citizens of Turlock. He served on the board of education at the children’s school for 12 years.
Charlie leaves to mourn: his loving wife of 73 years, his children; Cheryl (Jim) Harlan, John (Anne), Lonn (Pam), and Paul. He also leaves 15 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 8 great, great, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Graveside service to be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 at 11am at Turlock Memorial Park, 425 N. Soderquist Rd. Turlock. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 at 10am at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 640 Minaret Ave., Turlock.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Turlock or Lutheran Hour Ministries, 660 Mason Ridge Center Dr., St Louis, MO 63141-8337.
Saturday, October 29, 2011