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Bruce Dayton, arts patron, department store heir and father of Gov. Mark Dayton, dies at age 97

The governor had cleared his schedule for many days to be with his father.

Bruce Dayton
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Bruce Dayton, a Dayton’s Department store (now Target) heir and father of Gov. Mark Dayton, died this morning at his home in Orono. He was 97.

The governor had cleared his schedule of most official business in recent days to be with his father.

Bruce Dayton was one of five brothers who inherited the Dayton’s stores in the 1940s and built it into the giant retailer now known as Target. He was also a benefactor of the arts, particularly the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

The governor’s office today said Bruce Dayton “is survived by his wife, Ruth Stricker Dayton; his four children, Mark Dayton, Brandt Dayton (Tian), Lucy Dayton (Mark O’Keefe), and Anne Dayton; two step children, Kim Griffin (Robert) and Mark Stricker; eleven grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.” 

A memorial service has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19, at 4:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church (1200 South Marquette Ave, Minneapolis).

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The Star Tribune says Bruce Dayton once offered the secret to Dayton Hudson’s (and later Target’s) success, attributing it to, “harmony among the five brothers, a movement to professional management during the 1970s and a commitment to ethical corporate governance and generous corporate and individual philanthropy tied to the communities that made them wealthy.”