In his youth, Dayton Root experienced being a dust bowl refugee, moving from Oklahoma to central California with his family in 1935. Dayton pursued an undergraduate degree at La Verne College, now University of La Verne, earning his way with such jobs as “smudging”—maintaining fires in the orange groves surrounding La Verne to resist frost on the crop.
One fateful day while a student at La Verne, Dayton saw and heard Ada Faye McCune singing a soprano recital. He was struck by her presence. Eventually they married, and were devoted to each other for the rest of their lives.
Dayton graduated from Bethany Biblical Seminary in 1947. He pastored the Laton church and later the Bella Vista congregation in east Los Angeles during a building program. His work there often included construction of the building as well as preaching and visitation. In the late 1950s he returned to the University of La Verne for what would be more than a quarter- century career as a popular psychology professor and as an administrator in several posts.
In their retirement, Dayton and Ada Faye continued their love for the church and for Bethany’s commitment to preparation of pastoral leadership. They always exuded a warm, unpretentious and generous spirit for all who joined their presence. Through their retirement, Dayton and Ada Faye continued to establish Charitable Gift Annuities with Bethany as part of their overall investment and stewardship strategy. Their wills also provided for significant support for Bethany’s mission of service to the church. They were able to structure their financial planning to securely provide for their retirement as well as sustain important ministry as their legacy.
Ada Faye loved flowers and maintained a beautiful garden of roses around their Hillcrest home. Dayton continued with his woodworking well into retirement, and became astute in managing his investments. Their generous legacy to Bethany will support scholarships for those called to leadership for the next generation of the church.
Dayton’s death came in February 2006, following Ada Faye’s passing some 18 months before him.