Margaret Patton Dalton
February 17, 1930 – December 10, 2018
Margaret Patton Dalton, 88, died peacefully in her home of nearly 60 years early on the morning of December 10, 2018. Peg, as she was known to friends, was the youngest of three children (Jack, Pat and Peg) born to Jack Murray Patton, a civilian Army employee, and Elizabeth Cotter Patton. She was born February 17, 1930 and spent her early years living on-base at Edgewood Arsenal, now part of Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. She often spoke fondly of those early days, riding in a motorcycle side-car to school, helping her father tend his beloved gladiolas, swimming, and crabbing in the Bush River. At age thirteen, Peg was in the garden with her Dad when he died suddenly of a massive heart attack. It was soon after this that Peg and her mother moved “into town” to a house on Main Street in Bel Air. She attended Aberdeen High School with Dorothy Dalton, who lived just down the street, and soon found a surrogate father in Fred Dalton. Before long she met and also became friends with Dorothy’s three brothers, little brother Jimmy, and older brothers Ken and Leon, who were seminarians at St. Charles in Baltimore.
After graduating high school at age 16, Peg attended St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg, MD where she earned her teaching degree. With degree in hand at age 20, Peg returned to Aberdeen High School as a teacher. Among her teen pupils was Cal Ripken, Sr., a fun fact that she only learned many years later and after rooting for the Orioles hundreds of times.
In 1950, Ken Dalton took a leave of absence from the seminary to take care of his ailing father in Bel Air. It was during this time that the course of his life changed. He fell in love with Peg and the two were married at St. Margaret’s Church in Bel Air on September 10, 1951.
As this was during the Korean War, Ken soon signed up with the Marine Corps and became a second lieutenant. A year after the wedding, Peg gave birth to their son, Michael. The young family soon headed off to their first home on Top Sail Island, NC just south of Camp Lejeune.
After the war, Peg and Ken moved to Washington, DC where Ken began working for the Security Office of the US Department of State. They lived in a small apartment near Seven Corners with baby Mike, Peg’s mother “Dah”, and before long baby Tish. It was during those early days in the Willston Apartments that they met life-long friends Joe and Bernice Loftus.
In 1959, Peg and Ken moved out to the then-distant suburbs buying the brand new house at the top of the hill on Light Street. At that time, there was just a trench being dug where the now 10 lane capital beltway was built. They joined the young St. Michael Parish and became involved in all things St. Mike’s. They taught CCD, participated in parish activities, and especially important to them, embraced and befriended the priests that came to serve the parish.
For a couple years in the late 1960’s, after third and fourth children Teri and John were in school, Peg went back to teaching, this time in the fifth grade at St. Mike’s. She took a brief hiatus from 1971 through 1975 while she was home with her fifth child Kati. Once Kati started kindergarten in the fall of 1975, Peg would continue to teach seventh then eighth grade until her retirement in 1996. During that time, we estimate that she taught approximately 2500 students. Memorable moments include trips back to her alma mater St. Joe’s to see the shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, many Christmas pageants and speech contests, numerous math competitions, and student counsel.
She also spent many afternoons around the dining room table with a group of dear friends that formed an impromptu crafting group that Ken referred to as the “S&B’s” (for “stitch and b…”) as he prepared them coffee and treats. Summers were spent visiting Peg’s sister Pat and her husband Zim Lawhon and their thirteen children, then grandchildren, etc. at “the pond” and later at their house on Lake Wallenpaupack. Other vacations included trips to Ocean City to visit Ken’s brother “Smokey” or in later years to see him at Deep Creek Lake and then the Outer Banks. After Mike married Joanne Harkins in 1976, the Daltons gained a whole new branch of the family, spending a couple weeks each year at the beach with Jeanne and Paul Harkins, and their extended family, first in Avalon, NJ and later in Corolla, NC.
Sadly, Ken passed away in 1994. Peg continued to teach for a few more years and took solace in her growing family of five kids, their spouses, and a growing number of grandchildren. After retiring, Peg continued to participate in the St. Michael community, including becoming a member of the volunteer Lazarus group at St. Mike’s. For many years she went to daily Mass followed by breakfast and conversation at McDonalds. She loved to travel and had some wonderful cross country and overseas adventures with friends including trips to Ireland and Italy. When able, she joined a water-walking group at Wakefield. Most recently her passion was playing bridge every Tuesday afternoon with devoted friends. Throughout her 60 years on Light Street, she was blessed with wonderful neighbors.
Peg is survived by five children, eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren:
- Mike and Joanne Dalton: daughter Kate (Rob) Bartolotta, and their son Andy; son Bob (Krystal) Dalton and their daughter Melody.
- Tish Dalton.
- Teri and Tony Ginster, and their sons Michael and Jack.
- John and Gail Dalton: daughter Mary (Michael) Rovito, daughters Grace, Colleen, and Susan.
- Kati Schmuecker, and her daughters Alyssa, Megan, and Kelly.
Funeral Mass will be 10:00 Friday, December 14th at St. Michael Church in Annandale, VA. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 8:00 Thursday, December 13th at Demaine Funeral Home in Springfield, VA. Burial will be 10:00 Thursday, December 27th at Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, VA.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Friday, December 14, 2018
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Margaret Patton Dalton
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October 9, 2020
Mrs.Dalton was my 7 grade math teacher at St.Michaels school. Along with being a very kind and patient person, she was a wonderful person. Later in life after St. Mikes, me along with Mike Skube, tended to her lawn and landscaping needs.
She will be missed by me and countless others.
God Bless you Mrs.Dalton and please pray for us, for you are in a place to do so now. Love you always
January 7, 2019
To all the Family and Friends of Mrs. Dalton:
On behalf of all the Hughes brothers, the sons of Paula Hughes, I want to extend our deepest condolences to all of you. Mrs. Dalton had a special place in my mom's heart. They had such wonderful times together, including during the activities captured so humorously in that lovely tribute to Mrs. Dalton's life.
Having lost our own mom in February 2018, we know how painful such a loss can be. But we hope your happy memories of your mom will sustain you, along with the good wishes and love of so many friends and admirers of Mrs. Dalton.
God bless you all.
With love from me and all of Paula's sons,
January 4, 2019
Mrs Dalton was my 7th grade math teacher and she was the best of the best at St Mike's. To this day, when colleagues are amazed I can convert fractions to percents in seconds - I smile and think it's thanks to Mrs Dalton knowing she made me/us memorize them all up to 100%. 5/6th (83%)- 6/7th (85%) etc. etc. Her legacy lives on with her family and the 2,500 or so students she taught. I also remember one day on the playground in the 5th grade when I was having a bad day, she seemed to sense it and I remember she went the extra mile to make me feel better about my situation. She had a mom's intuition even with students not in her class. She was an all star. RIP to Mrs Dalton (whose first name, I learned reading her obit).
December 17, 2018
I had the honor of working with Ms. Dalton as one of her occupational therapists at Burke Health and Rehab. In my short time with her, it was easy to see how amazing of a woman she (and her family) was. Now, reading her obituary in honor of her, I’m taken aback as I read that she grew up, lived, and worked in Bel Air, MD. I too grew up in Bel Air (attended C. Milton Wright HS- rival of Aberdeen HS) and wish I had talked to Ms. Dalton about this during my time with her.
Sending lots of prayers for comfort to Ms. Daltons loved ones in this tough time from myself and the rest of the staff at Burke Rehab that had the pleasure of knowing such a kind, warm, loving lady.
December 17, 2018
I started teaching 7th Grade at St. Mike's in the 80's. Peg was a mentor to me in those days, aside from sharing teaching strategies, we shared much more and became very good friends. She and Paula, and Phyllis, allowed me to join their little group, and tag along. I heard many stories about Peg's children and she spoke of extended family as if I knew each one personally. In 1985, I had my first child and Peg was Dan's very first baby sitter. I would not have entrusted him to anyone else.
A few years ago Peg called me for a recipe, it was the blueberry dump cake her family loved so much. We had fun catching up and my only regret is that I never told her how much I valued her friendship and appreciated all she did to help me during my early years of teaching.
I know she will be missed by many.
December 15, 2018
For my cousins Mike, Tish, Teri, John, and Kati,
I loved your mother, my Aunt Peg. She was warm and loving and fun to do projects with. We would make all our Christmas cookies the day after Thanksgiving with Aunt Peg running the show as we filled tin after tin with cookies to take home with us. Every year, for many years, she would knit a sweater for each of my many brothers and sisters. Not only would she knit us sweaters but she would also let us pick out the style and color of wool we wanted. This attention to, and celebration of, our individuality was part of what made Aunt Peg so wonderful. I loved knowing my mother’s only sister, I who have been blessed with so many sisters. She was nonjudgmental and interested in our lives. Aunt Peg is a hard act to follow as an aunt. She will be forever missed.
December 14, 2018
What a special woman and kind teacher she was! Mrs. Dalton could look right into a child’s heart and know just what to say. Her kindness blessed my heart and lifted my spirit so many times.
To the Dalton family: May your hearts be comforted as your hold on to dear memories.
Tommy (AKA TK) Kelly
December 12, 2018
To all of the Daltons,
I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. Dalton. She was a big part of my youth, along with Mr. Dalton. They were so kind to me and shared their love, home and activities with me unconditionally. I will always remember this. Thank you for sharing your parents with me and know that my prayers are with you as well as with your parents. They are now together again in a place they always worked for, heaven.
December 11, 2018
From the Lofti family ---
Dear Aunt Peg -- a wonderful special woman! She touched so many lives and we are all better persons for knowing her. The family's grief is our grief. When we lose someone we love, a part of us is lost. We are, in the words of the English poet, John Donne, diminished. But, in our sorrow, we are comforted with so many fond memories of Aunt Peg. She was Mom's (Bernice Loftus) truly great friend. She was brother Doug's godmother; brother Dennis' disciplinarian; brother Don's second mother; and believe it or not, my driving instructor. Our relationship with Aunt Peg hasn't ceased, it's merely changed and now manifests in fond memories. May God keep step with you, Aunt Peg. We love you! Our prayers are with you and the family ---
December 11, 2018
My Aunt Peg was the kindest, most generous person I have ever known.
She was very special to me since I was a babe in arms. I was born in Germany in 1956. When my family returned to the States (8 at that time) there was
no housing available. Peg spoke to my mom and said I will take Bridget. I have felt held in her loving arms since that time some 60+ years.
Peg is at rest with her beloved husband Ken,her parents and her brother Jack. I hope she gives my father Zim one of her warm hugs.
I will always keep her memory in my heart. I offer my prayers for my cousins and their families.
In peace and deep sorrow
Bridget Jameson Lawhon
December 11, 2018
“Mrs.Dalton” thought me math at St Michael school. She was able to create a special drive to excel that I was so lucky to be a part of during my informative years. She created a passion to exceed, I owe so much to her for my basic math skills, but more importantly my love for understanding that math was only a skill, it was how I used these math skills to help others! I can’t be more thsnkful. We have lost a great one that I was so lucky to be a part of her life!
P.S. thanks for the pound of M&M,s. I never told anybody. 😀
December 11, 2018
Aunt Peg was more like a big sister than an Aunt. We were only 15 years apart in age. When I was very young I lived upstairs with my parents in Belair while Aunt Peg and her Mom lived downstairs. I would slip down to their bedrooms many mornings and we would talk. Aunt Peg took me to college with her for a weekend and talked to me about her dreams. I knew Uncle Ken and visited his home down the street from our house. I was the flower girl in their wedding.
Through the years she was my special person, always loving, patient, and generous. I loved to visit and knew the neighbors. Time passed and our lives diverged. When I moved to Virginia 10 years ago I was so happy to live nearby. We would visit and always go out to lunch.
I’ll miss you so much! You taught me to be a kinder, more generous, less judgmental person. I can put those lessons to good use.
December 11, 2018
Aunt Peggy was a very important person to me, an aunt that I knew and loved dearly. She spent her life enjoying people's company and being so generous! When I got to visit the Daltons in Virginia it was such a special time. Peg and Ken knew how to have fun; they went to the pool, fishing on the Chesapeake, grilled in the backyard and steamed crabs. She baked Christmas cookies and knitted Christmas gifts for her each of the Lawhons and that was never a small job!
Well done, Aunt Peggy. You taught me how to be an aunt and you always did it best. Love, Katie Lawhon
December 11, 2018
My husband and I moved in across the street from Peg and Ken when we were newlyweds back in 1992. We were both transplants to the DMV and had no family in the area. Quickly they welcomed us to the neighborhood with smiling faces and friendly waves that led to a lasting friendship and a new Virginia family for us. As times passed there were births and deaths, happy and sad events and we knew we had each other to cry with and to celebrate. We can't thank the Dalton family enough for sharing their parents with us and hope they know how blessed we are to have had them in ours lives. It will be hard to pull in the driveway and break the habit if looking to see if her porch light is on and if her blinds are open or closed but I know she and Ken are together again at peace and are probably sitting down playing a competitive game of Bridge.
December 10, 2018
Miss Peggy was like a second mother to me growing up. We moved in next door in I think 1963. Because I was an only child I was at the Dalton’s home a lot. I remember being at lunch with Miss Peggy, Teri and one of the other kids and someone thought I was her daughter. I looked like a Dalton with brown hair and freckles! Miss Peggy and my mother had coffee together almost every day. That was the way of life in the 60’s and early 70’s. Our mothers did not work and they needed a break from the daily chores and kids! Miss Peggy was a very special lady. Deepest sympathy and prayers to all of the Dalton family.