Robert W. Deaton, 88, of Marlton, former finance director of the Catholic Diocese of Camden who retired in 1997 as diocesan director of long-term care facilities, died of complications from pneumonia Thursday, May 8, at the Virtua Marlton medical center.

Born in Camden, Mr. Deaton graduated from Camden Catholic High School in 1944 and served as a Navy radio operator on PT boats during World War II in the South Pacific.

Mr. Deaton became a bookkeeper for Kenney's, a former restaurant across from Camden City Hall, and in the late 1950s and early 1960s he was comptroller of the firm that operated that eatery and Kenney's Suburban House in Cherry Hill, his son, Robert W., said.

For three years, his son said, Mr. Deaton was general manager of the Cherry Hill Lodge, now part of Cadbury at Cherry Hill, a retirement community.

In 1964, Mr. Deaton began his 33-year career with the Camden Diocese as its finance director. In 1967, he earned a bachelor's degree in finance at Rutgers/Camden.

He was a founder of the N.J. Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, now LeadingAge New Jersey.

Dawne Penner, Mr. Deaton's business office manager when he retired in 1997, said, "When he hired me to work for the diocese, and in all that time, he was always very dedicated to his family and the elderly."

Penner, now business office manager at St. Mary's Catholic Home, a diocesan skilled-nursing facility in Cherry Hill, said, "He was a wonderful guy, wonderful to work for and work with."

In addition to his son, Mr. Deaton is survived by his wife of 66 years, Dorothy; daughter Dorothy Deaton-Young; a sister; and a granddaughter.

The viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 12, at the Lewis Funeral Home, 78 E. Main St., Moorestown, with a Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 13, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 42 W. Main St. Moorestown. Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill.

Condolences may be offered to the family at