Ron Dutton

Mar16 cover

Situated in the rarefied air at 7,500 feet above sea level, Estes Park is perhaps best known as the storied location of The Stanley Hotel, famous for its role in Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. It has a reputation as one of America’s most haunted hotels; many maintain it is still haunted today.

Unless you are a serious investigator of paranormal activities, you’ll want to avoid room 217. Supposedly the most haunted room in the hotel, it’s where Stephen King stayed the night before he started writing The Shining.

Estes Park is also the eastern gateway to the majestic Rocky Mountains, just minutes away. It is in beautiful Estes Park that Ron and Marilyn decided to live. They enjoy watching the herds of elk and other wildlife that roam freely through the town.

Throughout their lovely home – more like an art gallery and museum than a residence – wall space is at a premium, followed closely by shelf space. On all levels, the walls are filled with custom-framed pictures, posters and artwork – almost all originals, mostly magic but some Native American and Southwestern art, and art photos taken by Ron. The shelf space is filled with antiques, shaman sculptures, a collection of Kachina dolls, African Makonde sculptures, and more.

But wait. Let’s go catch up with his early years. 

Education, a Fortuitous Job in Nebraska, the Army, and Marriage

Ron came down from a small rural high school in Peterborough, New Hampshire, to work his way through Harvard College. (He ran a big newsstand forty hours a week.) He majored in English, with minors in Social Relations (psychology) and Fine Art. He graduated from Harvard College cum laude in 1955.

He earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Harvard University in 1956. “Before I got the Master’s degree, I had a job offer from a psychiatrist I liked who had signed up to go to Omaha, Nebraska, as the state’s community mental health director.

“I agreed to become the state’s mental health educator. My job included running a big display in Lincoln at the State Fair, which is a big deal in the Midwest. Part of my job there was to chaperone two different student nurses per day and drive them back to Omaha at night. These lovelies were the top students in the nursing school and they were there to recruit future student nurses. Tough duty for a young bachelor.

“One of them became my wife, Marilyn. We met there, really hit it off, and immediately began seeing a great deal of each other. I had been deferred from the draft for a long time, but it was catching up to me. So I accepted the two-year draft, which would get me out right after Marilyn graduated, and went in the Army. After a year they were going to send me to Germany so, on very short notice, Marilyn and I got married.”

Fast forward to what they still celebrate as “Reunited Day.” Ron then returned to Harvard University to pursue a Doctor of Education degree in Counseling Psychology. Marilyn was working and earned her PhT: Putting Hubby Through. Ron received his doctorate in 1965.

Read the full article here.

Mar16 TOC