David Maurice Daughton

May 15, 1944 – December 5, 2023

VISITATION: Friday, December 15, 2023, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., West Center Chapel. A Time of Sharing to follow at 7:00 p.m. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: December 16th at 10:00 a.m., St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 11802 Pacific Street.

Memorials to NE Lung Association, Habitat for Humanity, Omaha Public Schools Foundation for Refugee Immigrant Students.

To view a live Broadcast of the Services, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “LiveCast” button at the top of the home page.

David Maurice Daughton wrote the opening line for his own obituary: “Life is fun, mysterious, wonderful, magical and too short as I recently found out.”  David was born May 15, 1944 in Creston, Iowa to Maurice and Marge Daughton.  He graduated from Creston High School and moved to Omaha to attend and graduate from Creighton University.  He attended dental school for 2 years before realizing this was not the right path for him.  He then taught school through the National Teacher Corps and was the Director of Educational Therapy at the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute until finding his long-time career as a behavioral researcher in the pulmonology department at University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He thrived in this environment writing grants and conducting research trials, ultimately helping thousands of people quit smoking.  During his 33-year tenure as a behavioral researcher, David was a co-investigator in the earliest trials on nicotine gum, nicotine patches, Zyban, the nicotine inhaler, and varenicline (Chantix).  He co-authored more than 120 scientific articles, two books, and several book chapters.  David was an invited speaker throughout the United States and Europe.  He also co-developed the Human Activity Profile test, one of the most used questionnaires for functional performance evaluation in the world.  The test has been translated into multiple languages including Chinese, German, Spanish and Portuguese.  After retiring he became a paraprofessional at Burke High School helping immigrant and refugee students graduate and go on to college.

David married the love of his life, Barbara Benes, on February 24, 1973.   The true meaning of his life came from Barbara, daughter, Dr. Joan Daughton, and granddaughters Morgan Daughton and Emilee Knapp-Daughton. David believed you could travel to the ends of the universe and never find a better wife, daughter or granddaughters. He is also survived by brothers Mike and Steve Daughton, and sister, Mary Daughton Jackson.  Other family members included sisters-in-law Kaira and Cherie Daughton, Barbara McGargill, brother-in-law Lincoln Jackson and cherished nieces Pam, Kelley, Susan, Carrie, Amy, Audra and Abby.

David had strong convictions about how people should treat each other, the roles of policymakers, and the importance of protecting the environment. He and his wife, Barbara, often wrote articles to the public pulse hoping to influence others’ thoughts.  David lived his life with intention, creating many adventures for himself and loved ones. He ended his own obituary with, “I am so very grateful for having the best parents and siblings and for having jobs I enjoyed so much I would have worked them for free.  But most of all I am grateful for having the best wife, child, and granddaughters anyone ever had.”

Omaha Public Schools Foundation David Daughton Memorial Scholarship:  http://weblink.donorperfect.com/opsf_giving


  • Antonio Pignotti Jr Posted December 6, 2023 11:12 am

    We know not the hour. Keeping everyone in my prayers. David! love you – rest in peace.

    • Johnny Jackson Posted December 7, 2023 9:12 pm

      David was a fine man and true friend. I will certainly miss him and the fun we had texting each other. Many years ago, when we were young and a bit foolish.the police put an end to our 4th of July tower climbing in the heart of Creston, Iowa. The rockets we sent into the Midnight dark skies soon fizzled and burned out, falling to the ground below. Many years have rushed by.since that time of youthful exuberance , a time we both agreed was crazy, yet an experience we remember with fondness. Now, David,’ you have climbed an eternal tower, one that leads to eternal life. Watch for me David, my dearest friend, as soon I will join you in His Kingdom of love where nobody can make us climb down. Your life, David, has blessed many. Goodbye till we meet atop His tower, the one with no downward stairs.

  • Marty Rogers Davis Posted December 10, 2023 7:02 am

    Barbara, my deepest thoughts and sympathies are with you. While we worked together for only a short time I have followed yours and David’s path via many letters to the editor. I always greatly admired you and your work with the OPS students we served. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Rich Fitzgerald Posted December 11, 2023 5:35 pm

    Dave, you were always kind, witty, and fun. We studied together in undergrad and at dental school, and you always contributed wisdom and levity. I was proud to see all the good you contributed to an addictive society. Thanks for your friendship. My deepest sympathy to your family.

  • Melanie Liekhus Posted December 12, 2023 6:35 pm

    Mrs. Daughton, my deepest condolences to you and your family. I often remember you speaking of your precious David at school from time to time. You were a treasure to work with and you were his treasure in life. My thoughts and prayers to your family. Know that there will be a lot of firsts that will follow in the days and months ahead. It’s not an easy road but one that each of us must follow at some time. I wish I could be there to give you a hug but you are in my heart. I love you, Melanie.

  • Lee Johnson Posted December 15, 2023 10:33 am

    Barb, I am so sorry to see of your husband’s passing. May you remember all the wonderful years and may these memories bring you moments of peace and comfort.
    I have fond memories of working with you at Burke so many years ago.
    My sympathies to you and your family. Lee

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