Terence Andrew Dalton, who began his journalism career covering Bellefonte and Centre County court and government, died Friday in a nursing home in Gettysburg. He was 71.
Terry Dalton started working for the Centre Daily Times immediately after graduating from Penn State with a master’s degree in journalism in 1972. A four-year veteran of the United States Air Force where he served as an information specialist, the Morristown, N.J., native was also a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton with a B.A. degree in history.
At the CDT he covered borough council meetings, all variety of trials, county and state government and national politics. He persuaded his editors to send him to Harrisburg so the newspaper would have better local coverage there.
CDT colleagues remember him for his passion and joy and as someone who enriched everyone around him. When friends gathered in 2013 to celebrate him at the outset of his Alzheimer’s disease, some guests arrived with copies of stories he had written that had publicized their specific causes.
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During Dalton’s tenure at the CDT, he interviewed, among others, Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, along with a host of governors, members of Congress, presidential candidates, national journalists and civil rights activists.
He was, one of his editors said Saturday, “the consummate apolitical political junkie.”
He was also a sports junkie. He and his wife, Kathleen Iannello, were married in 1981 in Cooperstown, N.Y., home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. On their honeymoon in the Bahamas, they met and interviewed Muhammad Ali who was there training for the final fight of his career.
In 1985, Dalton moved to Vermont to teach and advise the student newspaper at Castleton State College (now Castleton University). In 1990, he and Kathleen accepted teaching positions at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) and Gettysburg College, respectively.
As a professor at McDaniel College from 1990-2012, Dalton built a journalism minor in the English department and was known for bringing local as well as national correspondents to campus as guest speakers in his journalism courses. He was also very active with the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, through which he co-founded an interest group for journalism educators at smaller institutions and organized and moderated panels on press coverage of major news events.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Kathleen, sons Andrew I., of Gettysburg, Trevin, of Alexandria, Va., and Brendan, of York, three grandchildren, four nephews and an older brother, Dennis, of Portland, Ore.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 19, at McDaniel. Contributions may be made to Penn Memory Center, Attn: Terrence Casey, 3615 Chestnut Street, Rm. 236, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Checks should be made out to: Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.