October 20, 1937 ~ November 11, 2021

Born in: Buncombe County, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Ronald Lloyd Dalton, 84, passed away on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

A Buncombe Co. native, Ronald was a son of the late Thomas Lloyd and Hannah Lou Hooper Dalton.

Ronald was a graduate of Sand Hill High School, Class of 1955. He then earned a B.S. in Education from Western Carolina University in 1960, where he was also a charter member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He then earned a master’s degree from Stetson University, Deland, FL, in 1966, and finally an Ed.S. degree, also from Western Carolina University, in 1986.

Mr. Dalton worked as the math and science teacher at Apopka High School, Apopka, FL beginning in 1960, before being named Assistant Principal of Ocoee High School, Ocoee, FL, in 1966. Two years later, he was named the Principal of A.C. Reynolds High School, Asheville, where he remained for 30 years until retirement. Mr. Dalton was so beloved at the school that the football stadium, home to many state championship winning Rockets teams, is named after him, R.L. Dalton Stadium.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Dalton received many accolades, including being inducted into the Rocket Hall of Fame (2006), being named the Principal of the Year, Buncombe Co. Schools (1990), and receiving the Florida Star Teacher Award in Ocoee, FL. He was also recognized by the Governor and Lt. Governor of North Carolina by being named to the The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society. The distinction is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

He was also a member of Oak Forest Presbyterian Church since 1949.

Mr. Dalton is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carolyn Davie Cavan Dalton; son, Thomas Dalton (Jennifer); brother, William Lee Dalton (Ann); brother-in-law, Hunter Davie Cavan (Phyllis); nephews, Russell Bradley and William Dalton; nieces, Tammie and Kim; and great-nephew, Hunter.

A memorial service will be held for Mr. Dalton on Sunday, December 12, at 2:30 p.m. at Trinity of Fairview Church before traveling to R.L. Dalton Stadium on the campus of A.C. Reynolds High School for further celebrations of Mr. Dalton’s life beginning at approximately 4:00 p.m. The service at Trinity of Fairview will be livestreamed on their social network pages. Pastor Stacey Harris, Trinity of Fairview, and Pastor Caitlin Johnson, Oak Forest Presbyterian Church, will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the R.L. Dalton Scholarship Fund, c/o Buncombe County Schools, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Memorial Service: December 12, 2021 2:30 pm

Trinity of Fairview
646 Concord Road
Fletcher, NC 28732


Memorial Service: December 12, 2021 4:00 pm

A.C. Reynolds High School, R.L. Dalton Stadium
1 Rocket Dr.
Asheville, NC 28803

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  1. Mr Dalton was very unique outstanding principal. With all his students that he had influenced or touched in someway. It is such hard words to hear that he is no longer with us. However we all admired and respect this man and will miss him dearly. Now he is looking down at all of us smiling wishing all of us well.

  2. Tommy I am so sorry about your dad he was a great man friend and principal always love talking to him every time I seen him after graduation will miss his smile his stories and seeing his beautiful cars AC Reynolds would not be there if it wasn’t for him praying for your family in time of need love you brother stay strong

  3. Too many good memories of a great man. He influenced and shaped so many in his time at ACR. He was a good friend and mentor. He will be missed.

  4. I will forever remember “Mr. Dalton,” as principal, leader, and avid supporter of all things “Rocket.” He touched many thousands and will be missed. Well done, sir. Rest in peace.

  5. Rest In Peace Mr. Dalton. My heart goes out to your family. You were a wonderful principal and I’ll always remember how you loved to dress in school colors and loved every student and wanted the best for us all.
    I will never forget the morning announcements. You were the best. You made my high school years exciting and memorable.

    Class of 1997

  6. Mr. Dalton was my principal at ACR (class of ’70) and my children’s principal (class of ’94 and ’97). I believe he made Reynolds the great school that it was. May God give his family peace and comfort during this time. ACR forever.

  7. Mr. Dalton was one of the nicest and caring person I know. He was the best principal ever and will be remembered for his fairness to each and every student who went to A.C. Reynolds High School. My heart goes out to his wife and family and I pray God will wrap his loving arms around you all and give you the comfort you need during this most difficult time in your lives. God bless you all.

  8. Mr Dalton made such an impression on me during my high school years. My first, last and only paddling! Much respect Sir!!! RIP… there will never be another one as great!

  9. Mr Dalton had high expectations for his students and the teachers that worked for him. That is why AC Reynolds was one of the best schools in the state. He loved the school and sacrificed his personal life for it. I was privileged to coach and teach for him.

  10. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of, as I called him, “Fearless.” He was a wonderful leader who was extremely kind to my mother and me. Blessings to his family.

  11. Mr. Dalton didn’t approach his position as principal of AC Reynolds High School as a job or career, but as a passion and calling. He bled Reynolds’ green. At the very start of my freshman year I got into a little bit of trouble and was called to his office. It was pretty intimidating to say the least. He was the first educator to talk to me as a man and challenged me to grow up. I walked out of that office a different person. The thousands of us who passed through that school were blessed. Class of ‘80

  12. Mr. Dalton helped me more than anyone ever knew. He went in front of the school board to help me graduate and he stood beside me for my bad decisions, he seen something in me when i didn’t see it myself. For that I am forever grateful to this man. TJ Anders class of 98.

  13. 1968 was a banner year. That’s the year Ron Dalton came in the door and changed ACR in a profound way. I remember the first school assembly in the auditorium when he stopped the proceedings and ordered his coaches to take out three young men who were not behaving well. The change was clear and immediate and from that point on my school experience there was a great joy. Thank you Ron for wonderful memories with discipline and respect. Greg Harris Glass 1971.

  14. My sympathies and prayers are with the family. Mr Dalton was always the one person who you knew was going to be on your side and would fight for you if you were in the right. He will be missed greatly. 🚀

  15. My mother said she wouldn’t let my two oldest siblings go to A.C. Reynolds because of the poor leadership and attitude of whoever was in charge there. Then Ron Dalton came home from Florida to take the principal position, and he changed things. Mom decided the two younger kids could go to Reynolds because it had improved so much. My brother ended up student body president (1974?), while I drove a school bus (under Mr. Ed Graham) and was active in theater.
    Mr. Dalton and all of his administrators and teachers forever altered the attitude at and about A.C. Reynolds. What A.C. Reynolds became – and is known for today – is due to the hard work of many leaders along the way, but I believe it all began with Ron Dalton. I hope he truly enjoyed the many years of retirement after his hard work at Reynolds. The entire school district – and the county – will forever owe a debt of gratitude to Ronald Dalton.

  16. Mr. Dalton was a wonderful principal! He was my principal from 1974-1978 and will be missed. Prayers for his family and friends. He will never be forgotten!

  17. What a wonderful man he was. Always and forever a great mentor for so many. Go and rest in peace with all your fellow Rockets in the sky. I know Bobby Bowens is so happy to be by his side again as well as 28 others from our CLASS OF 1984. Cedar Cliffs will always echo with your memory. Forever in our hearts. See you when we get there! Prayers to your family. Hugs from all left here to pick up the loss of our great Principle. R. L. Dalton will always be the MAN!

  18. RIP Mr Dalton, my high school years would not have the same without you running the ship and Jake running the library. May the lord give you rest and peace now. And his blessings I hope for your loved ones at this most difficult time.🙏

  19. Thanks for letting us do our jobs to the best of our ability. Two Dalton rules for all at ACR: Be where you’re supposed to be; doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You will be missed but never forgotten.

  20. Tommy, I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. My sympathy goes out to you and your family. Mr. Dalton and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but I always knew he would listen and make a fair decision! He was a great leader and example for us students to follow!

  21. Carolyn ,
    Sincere sympathy!
    You did a wonderful job taking care of Ron and your Mother, too .
    May God comfort you ; He will never leave you or forsake you .

  22. The lives touched, some perhaps changed forever, by Mr Dalton are insurmountable. Such a gift…such a legacy. Deepest sympathies and sincerest condolences. May God hold you close.

  23. The Great Use of a Life Is to Spend It for Something That Outlasts It – William James.
    Rest in peace Mr. Dalton and thank you for helping launch so many Rockets.
    Prayers for your family.
    Class of ’84

  24. Mr. Dalton liked for the students to show school spirit so he would get us to make something with school colors. He would sit in the hall and look for who had made something that he liked and would give them a ticket to the football game. I was one of the lucky ones. I was proud that me and both of my sons graduated from ACR. Mr Dalton you can rest in peace for all your hard work in making ACR a #1 rated school. Thank you.

  25. May the Lord be with your family during this time. Mr. Dalton was a great principal and we always enjoyed seeing him at football games when we had our reunions. He truly cared for each and every student.

  26. My sympathies to the family of Mr. Dalton. He is an icon at ACR and the school would never have made the advances they have without his guidance. I remember many conversations with “RL”, some a little more stressful than others, but always held the utmost respect for him as a man and a leader. Rest in peace.

  27. Ronald Dalton was a true inspiration to all his students and their parents and although he has moved on….he will not be forgotten. It was Ron Dalton that put AC Reynolds on the right track to academic and sports excellence. It’s because of him that I’m proud to say my children were AC Reynolds Rockets.

  28. Mr Dalton was a true and fair man. He guided Reynolds H S through good times with a strong and caring attitude. He was an inspiration to many and will be kindly remembered

  29. Kathleen Franklin/Gardner class of ’74

  30. I went to another high school in Massachusetts for my first 2.5 years of high school and finished my last 1.5 years at AC Reynolds. I can’t remember the name of the principal up in MA but I fondly remember Mr. Dalton who helped me in the transition. He was a kind man. May he Rest In Peace.
    Michael V McCanless MD
    Class of 1974

  31. Ron made a significant impact on my life as my Principle and as a relative. He always offered insightful guidance which I always took to heart, and I had the upmost respect for him. Carol, Tommy and Willam, and the rest of the family will always have a special place in my heart.

  32. Mr. Dalton has always been THE standard for high school principals; he was involved in all of our activities, kept up with students who needed help, did not hesitate to call a student into his office for a “talk” to get that person straightened out, and proved himself a true friend to his students. He was the fuel in the Rockets. I remember seeing him at ball games, monitoring hallways, out in the parking lot, walking across campus mingling with students. He was a man of discipline, integrity, character. Our world needs more Mr. Daltons in our schools.

  33. Rest In Peace, Mr. Dalton. Not enough space here to post all I’d like to say. Thank you for the recognition when I did well, and for the coaching when things weren’t so well. Your passion for student success was amazing. Tremendous leader! If we only had more like you today, I think our public school system would be in a much better place. You exuded school spirit and made my time there so much fun. I will never forget your comment to me about my first semester of college. “Boy, what the hell were you doing out there? We told you it wasn’t always going to be a football Saturday!” Thank for your hard work and dedication to your student’s success. Tommy, wishing you and your family peace in this difficult time. Go Rockets! Class of 1988.

  34. Ron Dalton came to ACR three years before our freshman year. What a difference he made before we got there. ACR became THE school of our area. The students and staff took pride in our school-he did. We had student and parent pride, community pride. He stood up for our school with the county. He defended our school at times many students did not know what was just outside. Academics- became one of the best high schools in the state. Scholarships awarded like no other school. Athletics- the school to beat. Because of his leadership our children also enjoyed attending the “best school of all”. Not only was he a daytime principal but was there at so many events athletically, academically, school activities, recommending where we should not be. He provided a great staff and educators for us to be led by. Thru the many years after graduation and even at some of our more recent class reunions he still knew who we were by name, what we did, and still concerned about us. As PTA presidents my wife and I asked him to come speak to Fairview parents. WOW. He encouraged each. Suggested preparing for college and what choices to make for college or maybe not. Tommy-He talked about you. He was happy to have a fine son but apologized to you because he did sooo much for the students of ACR. He became a major influence for many students thru the years that most will never know. I hear from many even today. Thank you Mr. Dalton for what you have meant to our school.
    Neil Carter Class of ’74

  35. Mr. Dalton was a very unique, outstanding, respected, and beloved principal. What a great man! He will forever be in my high-school memories.

    He touched countless lives. He will be missed and remembered by unimaginable numbers of silent, yet affected ACR students from years past.

    We were very blessed to have Mr. Dalton at our school and in our lives. ACR was THE school of our area and it was all due to this one special man.

    He saw something in every student they didn’t see in themselves. Mr. Dalton had a calling in life and he mastered his position above and beyond.

    Yep, he bled Reynolds’ green. Thank you Mr. Dalton for everything you did, were, and meant to A.C. Reynolds High School. May you rest in peace.

    Teresa Swann – ACR Class of ’74.

  36. I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget the positive impact he had on my life as a student at ACR. God bless you all.

  37. Mr. Ron Dalton was an absolutely amazing school administrator. He hired me as a science teacher and inspired me to become a principal. It was a blessing to train under him for four years and he served as a mentor through multiple school systems. Just hearing him tell me he was proud of me provided all the motivation I needed to get through some challenging positions. Many of the skills that served me well were picked up at Reynolds High School teaching physics and watching the master! Passion, pride in your school, and being a child advocate are gifts from God and Ron Dalton was blessed! Praying for his sweet wife and son, I will always cherish my time with their family!

  38. Mr. Dalton was my principle for the entire 4 years at A.C. Reynolds High. He as a kind and fair man and had compassion for the students education and safety on campus. He will be greatly missed. Class of ’82

  39. Mr Dalton will forever be an icon in the Reynolds community. He always knew what was going on with his students. He knew when we didn’t go to class and he knew when we didn’t perform up to par in athletics. He let us know about both. Yes he did show a few of us the other side of his paddle but, we are all better off today. He also had some pretty cool cars in his days. ACR has the facilities and respect today because of Ron Dalton. Thanks for your leadership and confidence in the kids and community.

  40. Mr Dalton was a great educator and principal. He cared about ACR more than anyone. He was at every event that Reynolds participated in and built Reynolds to being a great school for the students and the community. He will truly be miss and he was truly the “Rocket man “. God bless you and your family.

  41. The two things that I will remember about Mr. Dalton are. The first is the rule be where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing. The other is when he would tell us the time during his morning announcements. At the sound of the tone, it is 8:00. The tone was him hitting the desk. He was an awesome principal. He will be greatly missed!!
    Staci Dyer
    ACR class of 1990.

  42. Ronald B. Dalton was a true giant among the greatest educators in this region’s history. Multiple generations were touched and profoundly influenced by Mr. Dalton. The Good that resulted from his service is too great to quantify. God bless him, Carolyn Dalton and his family.


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