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Family fights cancer in father’s memory

‘Team Ice Cream’ part of NYC event

Jim Dayton, who lived in Putnam and had a Ticonderoga mailing address, died Sept. 19, 2011, of  pancreatic cancer. He loved ice cream, especially when sharing it with his granddaughter Janessa Boswell, his grandson Christopher Dayton and his Goddaughter Elena Watts Warters.

Jim Dayton, who lived in Putnam and had a Ticonderoga mailing address, died Sept. 19, 2011, of pancreatic cancer. He loved ice cream, especially when sharing it with his granddaughter Janessa Boswell, his grandson Christopher Dayton and his Goddaughter Elena Watts Warters.

— Ticonderoga and Putnam were important to Jim Dayton, according to his daughter.

“Small town values to my dad, meant supporting Ticonderoga’s small business community and looking for the ‘Made in the USA’ labels,” she said. “On Memorial Day, it meant quietly visiting the grave sites of family and friends in town, that had long since departed and especially acknowledging the sacrifice of veterans, because it was the right thing to do.”

Jim Dayton became ill unexpectedly.

“My father passed away on Monday, Sept 19, 2011,” Lynne Dayton recalled. “He was diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer the first week of August 2011 with no prior symptoms or health issues. He never drank, never smoked, (had) perfect weight, leading a physically active lifestyle working for Bill Blood Construction. He had just had his annual physical that spring where his doctor complimented him on his excellent health.

“We learned that pancreatic cancer usually is symptom free until it is so far advanced that the patient does not have a fighting chance,” she continued. “That is what happened with my dad. The tumor silently grew until it blocked his bile duct causing mild nausea and later yellowing of the whites of the eyes due to jaundice.

“The doctors we met with at Fletcher Allen Hospital said it is the cancer they fear the most of getting themselves because it is so hard to detect,” she said. “That is why it is so important to raise money for research. Scientists are hoping to develop a screening test much like a the PSA test to detect early stage prostate cancer to give those who develop pancreatic cancer a fighting chance.”

After he became ill, Jim Dayton appreciated his community even more.

“All of the small town kindnesses he had shown others in the past came back to him during those weeks,” Lynne Dayton said. “The lawn was mowed, food magically appeared, and when my dad was too sick to stay home, those friends who became family, made countless trips to Burlington by ferry to visit my dad in his hospice room.”

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