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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Becca Dayton fondly remembered

Becca Dayton
Becca Dayton. Photograph Contributed.

Last Friday, Sept. 13, another death shook the Grinnell community. Rebecca S. Dayton, 51, died of injuries suffered from a motorcycle accident.

Dayton worked at Grinnell College for over 20 years, most recently as a Chef de Cuisine. A member of the American Culinary Federation, she was passionate about cooking and enjoyed her work at the Dining Hall.

“Becca worked and lived as passionately as anyone I have ever known. She cared about what she did and who she worked with immensely,” said Chef Adam Darland, Catering Sous Chef, in an email. “I was speaking with one of our catering students from Romania, and she was telling me how just the other day she was telling Becca how homesick she was and Becca, true to form, gave the student a big hug and told her that everything would be okay.”

Peter Aldrich ’15 had worked closely with Dayton in Catering. Dayton was the first person he met on the job and one of the chefs with whom he was the closest.

“Though she was technically my supervisor, she was, more than anything, a friend. Becca was easy to talk to; she was non-judgmental, sympathetic, and a great listener. She always put others before herself … Through it all, she never failed to come to work each day with a smile. For that, I will always remember her,” he wrote in an email.

Besides her relentless work ethic, Dayton’s youthful personality was a gift to her friends and coworkers.

“She feverishly took notes at each session and was inquisitive at every opportunity. But when the day was over I was able to see a different side of Becca that was absolutely hilarious and entertaining,” said Billy Gilbreaith, Dining Hall Supervisor.

Students, family and staff alike will miss Dayton.

“Her dedication to her job, a mother to her kids, a daughter to her mom through thick and thin and her friendship will always be with me,” said Scott Turley, Executive Chef.

“Becca was the most caring and understanding person I have ever met in my life … She was a great friend and she will be missed by everyone she has touched in her life. She was a free spirit and loved life. Always a room filled with laughter when Becca was around,” wrote Kelly Edgington, Dining Hall Supervisor, in an email.

Memorial donations may be directed to the American Alzheimer’s Association and sent in care of Smith Funeral Home, P.O. Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112.









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