Hunter Dalton was born in High Point on December 13, 1924, to Pleasant Hunter and Frances Ennis Dalton. They taught their son by the example they set for him to love family, the church, and the community. He graduated with honors from High Point High School, now known as High Point Central. Hunter then attended Davidson College where was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
He had ambitions of pursuing a medical career, but his education was interrupted to serve in the US Navy during World War II. He later graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1947 with a BS in Chemistry.
On Sept. 6, 1947, he married Edna Elizabeth “Libby” Andrews from Statesville. They built a beautiful life together for their family. Libby preceded him in death in May of 2000, after more than 52 years of marriage.
Hunter’s professional career made a lasting impact on those he worked with and helped shape the High Point community for future generations. He began working at Snow Lumber Company in 1946, while still attending school. Initially working in the retail lumberyard, he learned the business from the ground up. In 1968 he became the owner and President of Snow Lumber Company. He oversaw the addition of the Home Decorating Center, as well as the move of the retail division to the store front on Main Street. During his years at Snow Lumber Company, he served as the President of the Carolina Lumber Dealers Association (1982); Director of the Architectural Woodworking Institute (1967-1973); President of the Southern Woodwork Association; founded and was President of Security Development Company and served on the Board of Directors of the Piedmont Associated Industries (1961-1962).
He served as the President of Snow Lumber Company until the family sold the business in 1992, at which time he was Chairman of the Board. After the sale of Snow Lumber Company in 1992, the family then formed PHD Enterprises, a real estate development company. He continued working and being actively involved in this new company until he was well past his mid eighties. As his health gradually declined in the past few years, he still came to the office each day, doing whatever he could to stay involved and assist in the business.
Few citizens were as engaged in as many civic projects and organizations as Hunter Dalton was during his life. He was a member of The High Point Kiwanis Club for over 67 years, where he served as its President in 1967 and received the George F. Hixson Fellow award in 1995. He was also on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army for fourteen years. He served as Chairman of the Building Committee when The Cloverleaf Salvation Army building was constructed. In 1974, the Salvation Army presented him with its highest honor, The Others Award.
Perhaps his most influential role was as Trustee of the High Point Regional Hospital Health Systems where he served as Chairman of The Board from 1984-1985 and 1986-1988, also serving as Co-Chairman of the building fund. During this time, he provided the critical leadership and vision necessary to create the new High Point Regional Hospital that still remains in service today. At the time, the High Point Hospital campaign was the largest financial campaign in the Carolinas, according to the Duke Endowment.
Hunter served as Chairman of the High Point Redevelopment Commission from its beginning in May of 1961 to April of 1968. This Commission was instrumental in the development of the “Magic Block” and the East Central Urban Renewal Project. This job was the natural outgrowth of his interest and abilities, earning him the title of “Mr. Urban Renewal.” In 1966, he was honored as the first ever High Point Citizen of the Year by The High Point Enterprise. In July of 1971, Hunter and the Redevelopment Commission of High Point, Inc. were recognized with a national award, presented by George Romney.
Other civic services have included serving on the High Point Community Foundation Board as a trustee and President of the High Point Historical Society, and as a trustee of Westchester Country Day School and the Glade Valley School. From 1959-1962 and 1970-1972 Hunter served as the Director of the Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of High Point Bank and Trust Company in 1974 where he served as Chairman of the Board in 1980. He also served on the local advisory board of BB&T Bank. As a board member and Director of the High Point Merchants Association, he received The Dedicated Ser vice Award in 1983.
The Foundation of the Presbyterian Home of High Point was the beneficiary of Hunter’s service for over nine years when he served as Director and President of the Board from 1988-1991. From the beginning of his career, he was a strong supporter of civic projects throughout the community that he so deeply loved.
Hunter was also extremely passionate about the High Point YMCA. He ser ved as President of the Metropolitan Board of the High Point YMCA from 1981-1983 and as Chairman of the Building Committee for the YMCA from 1979-1981, at which time it was relocated to its current location on Hartley Avenue. The YMCA honored him by inducting him into The Hall of Honor in 2013.
As the great grandson of the Reverend Pleasant Hunter Dalton, founder of First Presbyterian Church of High Point and its pastor for over 25 years, Hunter served the church that he loved in numerous capacities throughout the years. He served as an Elder, Deacon, Moderator of the Diaconate, Superintendent of the Sunday School, Sunday School teacher and church choir member. Other committees and leadership roles included the Boy Scouts, Finance, Stewardship, and the Endowment Committee. He was Chairman of the Centennial Committee in 1959 for the church’s 100th celebration and he was also elected and appointed to the Presbytery and Synod. He served as Chapel Committee Chairman in 1981, Honorary Chairman of the 125th Anniversary Campaign in 1984, and helped the church with a recent expansion and building program.
Hunter was a long time member of The High Point Country Club, where he was an avid tennis player. He enjoyed playing cards and the fellowship with his friends in the Thursday Night Gin Club. He was also a member and supporter of The String and Splinter Club.
Pleasant Hunter Dalton, Jr. has always shown an unwavering love for his family, his church, and the High Point Community. Throughout his life, he has worked diligently and has given generously of his time, talents, energy, and leadership to many worthwhile endeavors, and created a lasting legacy of philanthropy that serves as an example for us today. Hunter Dalton was a trailblazer of distinguished High Pointers who followed in his steps and carried on the mission of making High Point a better place in which to live. As one of High Point’s recognized business leaders, his skill, determination, and passion touched and accelerated the growth of many of our cities long time establishments.
Hunter Dalton, Jr. is survived by his three children: daughter, Frances Marybeth Dalton Grein and her husband, John; son, Pleasant Hunter Dalton III and his wife, Dr. Mary Dalton; son, Dr. David Andrews Dalton; his six grandchildren—Timothy David Grein and his wife, Alison, Hunter Dalton Grein and his wife, Sara Britt; Dr. Michael Williams Dalton, Melissa Andrews Dalton; Andrew Heath Dalton and his wife, Megan, Abigail Heather Dalton Lee Lum and her husband, Jason, and his six great-grandchildren—Lillabeth Davidson Grein; Elizabeth (Libby) Andrews Grein, Pleasant Hunter Dalton Grein; Ava Elizabeth Dalton; Caleb Elijah Lee Lum, Brianna Hope Lee Lum.
The family will receive friends in the Main Living Room at River Landing on Sunday, July 20 from 4 to 6 pm. Funeral services will be held at 2 pm on Monday, July 21, at the First Presbyterian Church of High Point with Reverend Dr. Kenneth Broman-Fulks officiating. Burial will follow at Floral Garden Park Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be, Andrew Heath Dalton, Timothy David Grein, Hunter Dalton Grein, Dr. Michael Williams Dalton, Dr. Donald Perry Douglass, and Richard K. Rowland. Honorary pallbearers are the members of The Thursday Night Gin Club.
The family would like to thank all of the staff at River Landing for their dedication and support during Hunter’s journey.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be directed to First Presbyterian Church of High Point, 918 N Main St, High Point, NC 27262.
Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made through www.cumby funeral.com.
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