Born: Oklahoma City, OK on 07 January 1942

Passed away: New York, NY on 07 April 2020

Aged: 78 years

Service Details

Dayton will be remembered for his kindness to friends and strangers alike, business acumen and sailing expertise as well as his many philanthropic endeavors. All who knew and loved Dayton will remember his larger than life personality and constant and loyal friendship. Please join us to celebrate his life by posting your pictures and stories of him. If you'd like to make a gift in Dayton's memory, please consider one of the many charities he generously supported:

National Sailing Hall of Fame
Brown University
ChildFund International
Preservation Society of Newport County

Funeral Company

Once the pandemic subsides, a date for a memorial service will be announced.

The Story

“Those who go down to the sea in ships,
who do business on great waters,
they see the works of the Lord,
and His wonders in the deep.
For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
which lifts up the waves of the sea.
They mount up to the heavens,
they go down again to the depths;
their soul melts because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
and are at their wits' end.
Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
and He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.”

– Psalm 107:23-29
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I left my well entrenched life in Boston for NYC because of Dayton. We lived together for almost 8 months and when we split up I ended up buying an apartment up the street at 400 E 52nd Street. I gave him the best damn surprise 40th Birthday party, complete with a wonderful belly dancer. He never stopped mentioning it when we spoke, albeit, sporadically.
We know Dayton loved woman, I am sorry he never figure out how to settle down with just one permanently, he would have enjoyed being a true, full-time, Dad. I remember well that he was a regular at FAO Schwartz, and savored sending birthday and Christmas presents and cards, all fueling that wonderful smile, hoping it would thrill the child, on the receiving end.
I lost touch these last 20 years...but he did call once while I lived in Westport and wanted to make sure I was happy, and that my son was doing well. He told me it was "important".
He believed in chivalry although his demonstration of it was not always appreciated. Like the time he turned up at my 32nd Birthday party and kicked my then boyfriend in the balls, with 40 guests as witnesses, at the Sky Bar/Clarke Cooke house. I think it even made the local newspaper and David Ray, when I last saw him two years ago, recalled and laughed, at the story.
So glad his firm will live on, he so loved by my memory, making successful, complicated deals.
I will have a glass of sherry in his honor and make sure when Covid is over, to give a firm handshake that would merit a Dayton's thumbs up. RIP Dayton, you made so many special memories for so many of us.

Cherie Lejeune


It has been 5 months since beloved Dayton has been unexpectedly taken from us.

Teresa Leja


Dayton was my first real boss in Corporate America and I have been in his employ for over 25 years, at VCFA Group. When I met him, I was just a college student forging my path in this world. Dayton showed interest in my life and the lives of all his employees, offering advice and help to those close to him. He showed care and compassion for everyone he met. He joined us at our wedding and celebrated the birth of our children and their life events with us. I am sad that he will no longer be able to share future celebrations with us. My children will never forget sailing with him in NYC on a tugboat. He always had a smile on his face and was a pleasure to see in the office and talk to whenever he was in town. Our firm, and I, will miss our fearless leader and I hope we can continue his legacy and continue his dream for VCFA. He will surely be missed. --Rivka Weinberger

Rivka Weinberger shared a photo.


In mid March 2020 we had dinner and Dayton insisted the band at the restaurant plays an Australian Ballad, "Waltzing Matilda" by Slim Dusty. To Your Joy, They Did. This song will always remind me of you.

Teresa Leja shared a video.


Andrew Reilly shared a photo.


Well old friend you set sail much sooner than I had thought you would and I still can’t believe you have left us. Please know that you are missed. I think of you every week day as we work to continue your legacy at VCFA. We have your great example before us and will always keep the indelible mark of character, integrity and dedication as the pillars of the firm you built. Thank you for putting so much trust in us these past years and for the countless lessons along the way. You were a great mentor and partner but an even better friend these twenty plus years. I’ll miss our evenings in the office sitting in the conference room sharing stories, joke telling, debating the politics of the day, and sharing thoughts on life, family, and our so many friends in common. It is these moments of both humor and seriousness that I will struggle to live without as I thought they would go on for many more years. I’m sad to see you go my friend but I know you’ll keep teaching me things even in your absence as I will often use your wisdom as a compass for years to come.

Andrew Reilly


Carol Williams shared a photo.


Carol Williams shared a photo.


I cannot recall a major moment in my life that you haven’t been there for and I’ve never once imagined my life without you. Uncle D, I am so blessed to have called you my godfather but, really, you’ve been a second father to me. I’ll miss calling to wish you a Happy Godfather’s Day and our impromptu calls to check-in on each other. We always marveled at the fact that we were living in the same place. I’ll never forget one bone-chilling winter day when we got together for an event in NYC. As we were leaving, we spotted an elderly man who had fallen on the cement steps and appeared to have broken his hip. While you called 911, I waited with him. You and I knelt there comforting him until an ambulance arrived. We got his name and you promised to call and check in on him later. I saw a part of myself in you that day; you were generous and thoughtful at every moment. I’ve never met someone with a more accurate moral compass. You always challenged those closest to you to do what was morally and ethically sound. You were a man of integrity and passion. Being on the water with you was one of my favorite things - and you had confidence in me being at the helm. I’ll always hold you closest to my heart and will cherish our memories until we meet again. Fair winds, Uncle D, I hope you drop anchor somewhere really beautiful!

All my love,

Eliza Williams


Darling Dayton was definitely one of a kind! We first met after winning a silent auction cruise on his Gunga Din. Although a but nervous about not knowing us, he was gracious, generous and it was the beginning of a very, very fond friendship and many good times.. We will miss him.

patricia stensrud