Jeffrey William Dutton was a man of contrasts. His attention to detail co-existed with his appreciation for the unknown. He was creative and logical, focused in his pursuits, but able to unwind fully with family and friends.
Born June 7, 1950, in Rockville Center, New York, Jeff grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America there and had many memorable camping trips. At Seneca High School he played the flute in the marching band. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a degree in architecture, he realized his passion was building scale models. He was recognized for both this and his artwork from an early age.
After working for several companies building architectural models in Atlanta and then Kansas, where he settled, Jeff had the opportunity to have his own company. Omni Models Inc. became Jeff's in 1980. It remains a successful venture today as a result of an excellent foundation from Jeff's ideas, techniques, and state-of-the-art models.
Jeff always had some kind of project going, whether it involved model railroads or his home. He designed and built home additions and many pieces of fine furniture. As a child, Jeff and his father built model railroads and Jeff continued the hobby into adulthood. He had several model railroad layouts; the last one filled his basement and had a floor-to-ceiling mountain in progress. His impressive layouts were on many model railroad tours, some of them national.
Jeff's strong sense of humor and love of music showed at work and at home. He loved acting "silly" with his daughter and her friends. He had a technical mind and liked the leading edge of technology, especially as related to electronics or music. Curious and inquisitive, Jeff read for information rather than escape. He was a fan of Carl Sagan.
The Fourth of July was Jeff's favorite holiday because it combined rocketry with the heavens. As a recent member of the Model Rocketry Association, Jeff had formalized another hobby begun in childhood - model rockets. He was planning a larger rocket before his passing.
Space and the stars captured Jeff's interest, whether through the large telescope with a tracking device he once had or from the back of his sailboat, Higher Priority. He knew many constellations and found it very peaceful to view them in the skies over Lake Stockton, Missouri, where he sailed with his wife, Suzie, and their daughter, Leah. He had many friends and happy memories from the camaraderie with others on the dock and people who visited to sail.
Jeff heard of spreading ashes in space when the idea was still a concept. He designed his urn and created a thought to be engraved on it:
May my dust be returned to my origin in the vastness of space:
eventually to again become a small part of nature's most glorious creation
A New Shining Star.
Peace be with you, Jeff.