Florence Marie Dayton (de la Motte) was born on September 11, 1913 in Hazard, Nebraska to Herman and Emilie de la Motte. She had one sister and three brothers, Edna, Carl, Melvin and Glenn. Edna, Carl and Edna have preceded her in death.
Florence was educated to become a school teacher, and in 1933 she received her first teaching job in a one room school house. She taught students from Kindergarten to High School, plus an occasional toddler that was dropped off for her to baby sit. Florence loved being a teacher, and even joined them in play at recess. She spoke of that time fondly throughout her life.
Because of the hardships of the “Dust Bowl”, her parents decided to sell their farm in Nebraska and move to California. It wasn’t long before Florence was required to give up her teaching and join them in California because her mother had become ill and needed her help.
This turn of events led to her meeting and marrying Charlie Dayton, the love of her life in 1938. Together they raised four children; Cheryl, John, Lonn and Paul. Florence’s husband Charlie was a Licensed General Contractor and cabinet maker. He built and remodeled many homes in the Turlock/Modesto vicinity, under the business name of Artcraft Industries employing 35 workers in Turlock. Florence worked by his side as a bookkeeper, donated her time at the Emanuel Hospital, and was a fulltime house keeper.
Florence and Charlie were founders of the Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Turlock, 73 years ago. There; she taught Sunday school and led the junior choir for many years. She also had a special love for family, children, sewing and her many dolls.
Florence joined Charlie on what would have been their 78th wedding anniversary. Florence leaves to mourn: her children; Cheryl (Jim) Harlan, John (deceased), Lonn (Pam), and Paul. She also leaves 15 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren, her brothers Melvin (Arlene) and Glenn (Myrna) and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April. 16, 2016 at 11: 00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 640 Minaret Ave., Turlock. A private family graveside service was held Thursday, Mar. 17, 2016 at Turlock Memorial Park.
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.