Peter Gustav Dayton
Lyme, N.H. — Peter Gustav Dayton, 88, peacefully passed away Monday, July 21, 2014, at Linda Manor in Northampton. Peter Dayton was born in Szigishoara, Roumania in 1926, one year before his brother, Henry, who predeceased him last September.
He was raised mostly in Czechoslovakia, barely escaping Hitler as his family hopped the last train out right before his eyes when he was 12 (he later met up with them). Due to fears of discrimination, his family changed their last name from Deutsch to Dayton when they came to N.Y. When he was 18, he joined the Navy and served as a Pharmacist’s Mate (3rd Class), earning an American Theater Medal and the Victory Medal.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from MIT in 1950, and received his Doctorate in Science (Organic Chemistry) from the University of Paris in 1953, with high honors. He was a Fellow at NYU, the Josiah Macy Foundation, and the Foundation’s Fund for Research in Psychiatry, and worked with NIH and the National Heart Institute. He went on to become a Professor of Medicine (Clinical Pharmacology) at Emory. He then worked at Columbia, the University of Pittsburgh, and eventually held a visiting position at Dartmouth after he retired.
Dr. Dayton won a variety of awards, including the Paul Martini Prize (Germany) for his work on drug metabolism. He was a member of 20 different professional societies, and was an organizer of the Gordon Conference. He published over 100 articles, plus co-authored over a dozen invited papers.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sherlie; two daughters: Anne Dayton Hendrick of Plainfield, and Claire Kuhn with her husband, Scott of Florence, Mass.; as well as three grandchildren: Marguerite (Daisy) Hendrick, Christopher Kuhn, and Alyssa Kuhn.
Services will take place at 11 am on August 4, 2014 at St. Denis Church in Hanover, N.H., followed by burial at Pine Knolls Cemetery. A reception will be offered at the Parish Hall at St. Denis immediately following.
He was known for his generous smile and greatly enjoyed helping to obtain the golden mosaics at St. Denis. Donations may be offered to St. Denis Church or the Lions Club in lieu of flowers.