Murphy Leon Dalton Jr.(1931 - 2012)

Dalton Jr., Murphy Leon Murphy Leon Dalton, Jr., better known to family and friends as Sandy, had a full and wonderful life. A U.S. Navy veteran, he served during the Korean War. But he is best known for his invention of the Lieb-Hazet Proton Magnetometer, a two-sensor metal detection instrument capable of land and sea discovery of metal based objects. His magnetometer and expertise, sought by scientists and treasure-seeking adventurers alike, led Sandy and his beloved wife Elizabeth Williams Dalton on real-life odysseys with clients around the world. From Greece and Spain, to waters off U.S. shores and into the dry deserts of New Mexico, the proton magnetometer turned out to be not only Sandy's "brainchild", but just as exciting, it turned out to be an entree to a flesh and blood world of adventure. Archeologists, "gold-fever" eccentrics and would-be modern day Howard Carters and tomb-raiders, persuaded Sandy to coach and train them in the most effective ways to utilize the "Mag" in subterranean and subsea searches. Sandy and Liz would return from one of these magnetometer field trips brimming with stories. Sandy Dalton attended Jesuit High School and graduated from Highland Park High School. He continued his studies at the University of Notre Dame where he also excelled in weight-lifting and body-building. After returning to his native Texas he earned both a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas as well as the title of "Mr. Dallas" in a weight-lifting and body-building competition. After traveling around the world on the U.S.S. Hornet, Sandy went on to earn a Masters Degree in Physics from USC. Sandy worked for the Space Program in Southern California, specializing in fiber optics. Sandy climbed the iconic Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. Conquering this majestic peak was an achievement he remembered fondly throughout his life. He was a member of the Coon Creek Club and he was a member of Mensa. Sandy was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy and Murphy Dalton and his brother Jack. He was a third generation Dallasite and his grandfather, Edmond Leon Dalton was Dallas' first City Engineer. Sandy Dalton is survived by his loving wife Elizabeth Williams Dalton, his two children from a previous marriage, David Leon Dalton and Lynn Mara Dalton Lathrop, and two grandchildren Joseph and Faith Dalton. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Dalton Verhalen and a nephew and niece, Jeffrey Dalton Davis and Jennifer Davis Sanders. A Funeral Mass will be held Friday, December 7, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Rita Catholic Church. For more information, please visit


Funeral Home

Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Memorial Park
7405 West Northwest Highway Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 363-5401

Published in Dallas Morning News from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7, 2012