Dr. Ronald Pearson Dutton died Aug. 2 at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. He died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family.
Dutton was born Dec. 4, 1933 in Boston and grew up in New Hampshire. He graduated from Peterborough High School, then worked his way through Harvard University. He graduated cum laude in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in English, with minors in Social Relations and Fine Arts. He earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Harvard in 1956.
While earning that degree, he accepted a job in Nebraska as the state’s community mental health educator. While chaperoning nursing students to and from the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln, Ron met a young nursing student, Marilyn Lundahl. The two began dating, and were married in 1957, just before Ron entered the U.S. Army for a tour of duty in Germany. The couple still celebrate both their wedding and the day they were reunited after Ron returned to the U.S. After his army service, Ron returned to Harvard to pursue a Doctor of Education degree in Counseling Psychology. He received that degree in 1965.
Ron had multiple careers in his working life, much of which was spent in the Boston area. As a psychotherapist in private practice, he specialized in short-term therapy, often augmented by hypnosis or guided imagery. Starting in 1969, he was one of the few licensed psychologists to go into full-time private practice. Ron also spent a number of years working part-time as a Senior Consulting Psychologist with Miller Associates, a firm that specializes in individual executive assessment and development.
Working in numerous professional societies, Ron co-founded and helped lead The Coalition for Children, a consortium of about 40 groups, including parent-advocate groups, joined forces to agree on, write and pass legislation to reform special education in Massachusetts. That group’s work became a model for national legislation to aid special needs children. Ron’s career also included teaching, one of his passions. Much of his teaching work was done at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston University – where he advanced to the position of Visiting Associate Professor. He also held both full- and part-time faculty appointments at Harvard.
Ron was also a widely-published writer. He co-authored an article honored by the American Psychiatric Association. He wrote all the materials for a complex psychological test, “PROSE,” and was a columnist for the “Yankee Magic Collector” magazine. He also wrote the preface for a book on mentalism. His interest in magic sparked by seeing card tricks performed by a favorite uncle, Ron was an avid collector of magic books, art and apparatus, and was elected Dean of the Society of American Magicians, Assembly 292 Fulfilling a longtime dream.
Ron and Marilyn moved to Estes Park, Colorado in 1991.There, he established a counseling practice and Marilyn continued her nursing career in both hospital and home hospice work. Waking up to a view of Lake Estes, Ron often jokingly asked Marilyn, “Should we extend (our stay) another three days?”
Dr. Ron Dutton is survived by Marilyn, his wife of nearly 62 years, daughters Kay (Scott) Miller, of Gypsum, Colorado, Lisa Roussos and her husband, Joe Pozycki, of Loveland, Colorado, and granddaughter Virginia Miller, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8 at Shepherd of the Mountain Lutheran Church in Estes Park.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the charity of your choice, care of Allnutt funeral services, 1302 Graves Avenue, Estes Park, CO, 80517. Please visit www.allnuttestespark.com to leave a message to the family.