Yvonne Dalton of Wantagh, a former Nassau Board of Elections worker who devoted the latter part of her life to working with special-needs students, died Saturday after battling cancer. She was 80.
Dalton, after raising six children as a stay-at-home mother, worked as a special-education teacher's aide at the Nassau BOCES Carman Road School in Massapequa Park starting in the 1990s.
"She adored those kids; she was always talking about the students," said her son Richard Dalton Jr., 48, a former Newsday reporter who now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
He recalled that his mother accompanied several BOCES students as they participated in the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged, an annual sports competition for disabled youths.
Yvonne Dalton was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, marrying Brooklyn native Richard Dalton in 1953. The family moved to Wantagh in 1965.
She worked as a secretary for publisher Prentice Hall in 1956, but left the job to raise her children. Her daughter Karen Dalton Cox, 56, of Manhasset, recalled how her mother would pack the children into the family station wagon for day trips and camping outings on Long Island's East End.
"We learned a lot from our mom," Dalton Cox said. "She didn't tell us a lot, but you just observed the way she lived -- a very honest and simple life."
Dalton Cox said her mother took pride in her work as a Board of Elections worker, helping staff voting precincts in the 1990s.
"She was a very social woman. She enjoyed getting to know people," she said.
Yvonne Dalton had survived bouts of endometrial, colon and breast cancer over the past 27 years, but succumbed when cancer spread to her bones, Dalton Cox said.
Other survivors include her husband, 81; another daughter, Janet Bennett, 53, of Merrick; and sons Steven Dalton, 55, of Seaford; Glenn Dalton, 51, of Dix Hills; and Scott Dalton, 43 of Maspeth, Queens. She is also survived by 19 grandchildren and a sister, Olga Perlman, 68, of Hopewell Junction in upstate New York.
Dalton was cremated and will be honored at a private family celebration. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. Checks made to "Friends of Nassau County Recreation" can be mailed to Victory Challenged Games, 1550 Franklin Ave., Suite 212, Mineola NY 11501.