John Horton Dayan, Jr.
With profound sadness we share his peaceful, but sudden, passing on January 10, 2021 at 64 years of age. John leaves behind the love of his life Kelly Dayan; beloved daughter Dava Dayan; his mother Jody Dayan; siblings Michael Dayan, Mary Ellen Dayan-Varnum, Don Dayan, and Jennifer Bradford; and a host of nieces, nephews and other cherished friends and relatives. He was preceded in death by his father John Horton Dayan, Sr.
John (always known as “Jay” to his family) was born on December 23, 1956 in Spenard, Alaska to his father, an airman stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, and his mother, Joanne Sweum, a lucky local girl who met the handsome Medical Technician. In 1963, when the family had grown to include 4 children, they loaded up the Buick and relocated closer to family in Portsmouth, Ohio. When John was a senior in high school, the family moved to Florida while he stayed behind to graduate from Wheelersburg High School. His sister Mary recalls her second most sad “Jay day” was their family backing out of the driveway (again, with 4 children in the back of a Buick as baby Jennifer had joined the family by then), heading to Florida, and Jay sitting on the porch of their home waving at them! John subsequently served in the US Navy and was honorably discharged in San Diego, CA where he worked and taught in a variety of technology disciplines, and ultimately discovered Information Technology.
It was while he was employed at Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) as a computer programmer (affectionately referred to as a code cranker) that he met his future wife Kathryn E (Kelly) Brehm. A mutual friend had advised him that a new girl was joining the team who she thought he would really like because she “cussed like a sailor and could drink him under the table”…turned out she was right. They married in 1994. In 1998, consolidations in the high tech industry took them to Houston where John – and eventually Kelly – worked for Compaq Computer Corp, soon to become Hewlett Packard, Inc.
John progressed through a number of roles at HP including Strategy & Planning, Product Development, running the iPaq Handheld Division, and ultimately as VP of Worldwide Marketing Operations. John was a technology geek at heart and truly loved working in the computer industry. His marketing roles also “required” that he play golf with celebrities, attend sporting events in box seats, and travel the world wining and dining in many memorable spots (tough job, right?) He was also blessed to work with many, many wonderful colleagues who became protégés, friends, and mentors along the way.
In May of 2013, an opportunity to purchase an under-performing hotel property in Half Moon Bay, California caught Kelly’s eye. Ever the supportive husband, the couple relocated to the West Coast – close enough to HP’s Palo Alto campus for John, and allowed Kelly to flex her entrepreneurial muscles. This was the challenge of a lifetime for both of them, and in 2018 they sold the property after a full scale remodel and complete financial turn-around. They settled in Napa – always a favorite vacation spot where they had dreamed of living “one day”.
A Memorial gathering celebrating John’s life and friendships will be held at Pebble Beach Resorts when it is safe to do so. A plaque honoring John’s Naval service will be installed on the Veteran’s Memorial Wall at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, CA. Anyone interested in making a memorial donation is encouraged to contribute to the American Junior Golf Association’s Ace Grant program in Memory of John Dayan. https://www.ajga.org/donate
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Horton Dayan, Jr., please visit our floral store.