Mr. Douglas Lee Dalton, 58, of Fayetteville peacefully passed away at home on Good Friday, April 19, 2019 from long-term complications of his Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. He said that he saw God's hand reaching out for him, and that he was very tired and wanted to go home and rest. Within minutes he had transitioned to a place where he said he knew he would be free from pain, fully healed, and forever free from his wheelchair.
He is survived by his mother, Cleo, of the home; siblings, Danny Dalton and Denise Dalton (partner Andrew Murphy); niece, Melinda Schneider (Justin) and great-nephew, Chase Schneider; and his many, many beloved aunts, cousins, and great-cousins in his extended Dalton and Guthrie families. He is preceded in death by his father, Gary Lee Dalton.
As the proud child of a Green Beret soldier, Douglas lived and traveled across the United States. He was born with a severe variation of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disease, a disease of the peripheral nerves that control muscles. Although it meant Douglas could never walk or run, and would require a wheelchair and assistance nearly all of his life, CMT never conquered his huge smile, contagious joy, impressive intelligence and remarkable faith. He accomplished so much despite his physical limitations because he enjoyed greater independence and function in his wheelchair: after graduating as a proud Falcon from 71st High School, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion with a Minor in Psychology from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and a Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Eastern Carolina University; he completed numerous internships and volunteer work; he retired from his rewarding work as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of North Carolina; and, he received numerous certificates of achievements and awards, including the Governor’s Award for Disabled North Carolinian of the Year. Through his work, Douglas was able to achieve one of his most meaningful life goals, personally assisting more than 1,000 disabled North Carolinians to overcome their disabilities, become employed, and live a fulfilled life.
Douglas was a longtime member of the Cornerstone United Methodist Church, where he once gave a sermon on perseverance, in which he shared how God worked in his life. Douglas described how God gave him the strength to persevere over his disability so that he could achieve far greater than his disability could limit. Despite CMT bringing Douglas near death’s door innumerable times during his life, his will to live was formidable. When Douglas declared he was ready to go, he went swiftly, and the significance of his passing on Good Friday is a tremendous testament to the strength of Douglas’s lifelong faith. He lived every day with the hope that he was living God’s plan and doing God’s work, and that one day God would finally and fully heal him in heaven. Doug always said he looked forward to being able to walk and run in heaven and we are profoundly grateful for his new freedom and peace.
Douglas loved gardening, genealogy, fishing, studying the Bible, writing poetry, and woodworking (winning First Place in the Cape Fear Valley Hospital fair for his chess set). He was a loving family man and loyal friend and will be missed by all who were blessed to know him.
Funeral services for Douglas will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2019. Visitation will begin at 9 am followed by his service at 10:30 am, both at Lake Rim Baptist Church. His burial ceremony will follow at noon in Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions or donations may be sent in Douglas’s memory to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA), P.O. Box 105, Glenolden, PA, 19036 or https://www.cmtausa.org/donate/make-a-donation/