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Bruce Dayton dies, father of governor and leader of retail giant

By Forum News Service

Bruce B. Dayton, the last of the famed retailing family and father of Minnesota's governor, died this morning at 97.

Gov. Mark Dayton's office reported that he was surrounded by family at his Orono, Minn., home.

His death was expected and the governor has been out of the office for more than a week to spend time with family.

Bruce Dayton was the former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the Dayton-Hudson Corp. It owned the Dayton retail chain and formed Target.

A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Nov. 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 S. Marquette Ave, Minneapolis.

In addition to the governor, he is survived by his wife, Ruth Stricker Dayton; children Brandt (Tian), Lucy (Mark O'Keefe), and Anne; 11 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

Bruce Dayton and his brothers expanded the Dayton Co. from a single Minneapolis department store into a national retailer. The Dayton family sold the company, which today is Minneapolis-based Target Corp., one of the best-known store chains in the country.

Gov. Dayton often talked about his father and how he wanted his children to understand the meaning of work even though they lived in a wealthy family.

The governor has called his father the "most important and positive influence" in his youth.

"My father often said, 'The only thing worse than a bum is a rich bum'," Mark Dayton often said. "He made us understand that we're very fortunate, and with that came an opportunity and responsibility to give back."

(The St. Paul Pioneer Press, a Forum News Service media partner, contributed to this story.)