Jean Dalton

Obituary of Jean Margaret Dalton

Jean Margaret Dalton was born in 1940, the only child of Alfred and Lilly Dobson. After her mother’s early death, Jean, at the age of 2, was adopted by her aunt and uncle Alfred and Evelyn Jacques.

Jean was blessed with high intelligence and at the age of 10 she passed a scholarship to attend Cobern High School where she was the number one student and a school prefect. By the age of 15, Jean had obtained all the necessary qualifications to attend University and was offered a place at Oxford University which she declined because she did not have the resources to be comfortable there. Instead, Jean did a number of menial jobs including being a bus conductress to raise the funds needed to attend university. At the age of 17, she elected to attend Hull University where she majored in French, with Latin and Swedish as minors. During her freshman year, Jean met her future husband, Colin Dalton. As part of her curriculum, Jean spent a year in Prades in Pyrenees Oriental, France where she taught English to the French students. While in France, Jean learned Spanish and made some lifelong friends. On returning to Hull, Colin proposed and the two were married at a Registry Office in Kings Cross, London where Colin was in a Ph.D. program.

After Jean graduated with 1st class honors, Colin was offered a Ph.D. program at SUNY Buffalo, NY and the two moved to the United States. While in Buffalo, Jean started in a Ph.D. program in French Literature and also became a teaching assistant. When Colin was offered a job in Nutley, NJ, Jean left the program to move to the Garden State. While in NJ, Jean was offered a job as Assistant Professor teaching French at Montclair University.

In 1968, Jean gave birth to Carolyn and in 1970 to Craig. Jean dove head first into motherhood and decided to stay home to nurture the family. Miraculously, she still found time to continue her PhD studies at New York University and completed all the requirements short of a Ph.D. dissertation.

After 15 years in New Jersey, Jean, and the kids followed Colin’s work to various other locations around the US including Chicago, Illinois, Boston, Massachusetts, and finally Tucson, Arizona making friends and exploring the local culture in every location.

Throughout her life, Jean had a love of travel. In her early years, this included hitchhiking throughout Europe. Later, Colin and Jean set out to reach as many parts of the world as possible. At the time of her death, Jean had traveled to over 115 countries and all 7 continents collecting memories and mementos along the way.

Jean enjoyed many varied interests including reading, gourmet cooking, crossword puzzles, and the arts. She loved attending the symphony, theater, and other performances. She spent many years enjoying the sports of tennis and hiking. On the court, on numerous occasions, became an age-group Tennis champion. Hiking had also been a passion and in retirement had become an active way for Jean to explore the world. She experienced mountain ranges all over the world including Patagonia, Sierra Nevada, the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the Rockies.

In 2022, Jean and Colin moved into a retirement community in Oro Valley, Arizona to find new levels of support. With the love of her family, Jean died peacefully on March 26, 2023.

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