Marie McGreevy Dayton grew up as an only child on the south shore of Long Island, NY. But as a singular she was never lonely. Her grandparents lived across the driveway and she could escape there whenever she wanted. Her father was a businessman and her mother was a homemaker. Marie shared, “My life was very structured, and I knew exactly what was expected of me ...sit up straight, don't put your elbows on the table, etc.” However, Marie had a creative mind and vivid imagination. She frequently invented schemes to entertain or make money. One summer, Marie and her friend, Natalie, wrote letters to the Chambers of Commerce in many foreign countries. Their intention was to let them know that they were interested in visiting their country and learning what could they could about it. The mail poured in and the foreign stamps and beautiful catalogues that arrived stayed in her bedroom until she left for college. In later years, she visited many of those countries.
Continuing in her creative mode, Marie wrote a neighborhood newspaper and tried to sell it door to door…with limited success. She even tried to sell her mother's evening gowns, that she had been given to play with, by hanging them on hangers from the big trees in their front yard…another limited success. Nonetheless, Marie persevered and went to New England College, in New Hampshire. She loved the beauty of the place, made many friends, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. After graduation she began teaching kindergarten in Copiague, Long Island where she found her niche. The little ones were always interesting and interested in Marie’s curriculum.
She met and married Bill McGreevy in 1970. Bill and Marie purchased a beautiful old home, built in 1890, which had the original pocket doors and was right across the street from the water. Her family, including children Jared and Meredith, spent much of their time on the Great South Bay, water skiing, clamming, just cruising along and later joining the Babylon Yacht Club.
Marie began her charity work when she became chairperson of the Babylon Scholarship Fund. They raised money by having a fashion show that included many of the shops in their town. All the money they collected was distributed to deserving seniors in their local high school.
One year, Marie was elected to be a trustee for the Babylon Village Library where she helped provide guidance for library activities. This position was short lived because Bill was transferred to the Recoton Corporation office in Lake Mary, Florida. Marie retired from teaching with the move in 1996. Shortly upon arriving in Florida, Linda Wish and Marion Good invited Marie to join the Heathrow Women's Club. The family moved into East Camden in Heathrow a few years later. During her time in Florida, Marie experienced the untimely loss of her first husband Bill. After several years, the friendship she had with one of Bill’s colleagues at Recoton, Peter Dayton, blossomed into love and they married. Alas, Peter passed away last year.
Marie has four grandchildren as each of her children now have a boy and a girl. She visits them often in North Carolina and Virginia. And, the entire family was at Marie’s for “a command performance” for Thanksgiving. Jared’s family will be back right after Christmas when her grandson competes in a soccer tournament hosted in Orlando.
In addition to her family duties, over time, Marie has served our club as treasurer, social chairperson, and program chairperson. A number of our HWC traditions were started under Marie’s creative direction, including The Holiday Tea, the first Gala (Black and White), and the first Canasta group. HWC also took field trips, one of Marie’s favorites being the trip they took to Tampa for the Egyptian (King Tut) Exhibition. Marie’s life is Women's Club and enjoying all the friendships she has made helping to support our club’s charitable endeavors.
By: Lee Granger