Remembering Destin's 'Karaoke Captain': Dan Detton passes away at 70 years old

Dan Detton with his grandchildren in Santa Rosa Beach.

“Karaoke Captain” Dan Detton was approximately 5-feet, 7-inches tall and slender.

A regular at American Legion Post 296 on Main Street in Destin, the Ph.D from Santa Rosa Beach in Walton County loved to sing.

“It was a shock to all of us that he passed away,” said John Vetter, post second vice-commander. Vetter had spoken to Detton the Friday before his death on Dec. 10.

“He favored Frank Sinatra,” said the post second vice-commander. “He just loved those kinds of songs.” And, the Karaoke Captain was an accomplished crooner at that.

“Very good,” is the way Vetter characterized Detton. “He sounded just like Frank Sinatra.”

On the stage, minus the cigarette, the Karaoke Captain stood to sing.

And, he’d sing throughout the night.

“Every third or fourth song” he would be at the karaoke machine, said Vetter. “He was very enthused about singing.”

Though obviously not hampered by stage fright, Detton was private and quiet, according to the post second vice-commander. He sat with a couple of friends at a table, where they chatted until it was time to sing again.

Detton was 70 years old. He was born Aug. 23, 1942, in Brigham City, Utah.

The Karaoke Captain earned his doctorate at the University of Utah. He also was an author. “A Seeker’s Guide to Finding a Soul Mate” was Detton’s last work. And, Detton was an outdoorsman, with hiking being one of his favorite pastimes.

A psychologist by training and retired counselor, Detton played the role of “nanny” for his three grandchildren much of the time, except Fridays, said his daughter Jessica Miller, also of Santa Rosa Beach.

On that day, the alto headed to Post 296 for karaoke. “He just really enjoyed singing,” said Miller. “It was kind of the highlight of his week. … He needed to sing. I know he sang even as a young child.”

To his 7-year-old, 3-year-old and 16-month-old grandchildren, Detton liked to sing “Dreamland Express.” While she was growing up, Miller often heard “Cracklin’ Rose.”

She said her father was a wonderful, caring man and he is deeply missed.

Miller, who runs Serene Occasions event planning with her husband, Sean, provided a list of her father’s favorite songs.

At the top was “Love is the Answer.” “Crying” and “Looking for Love” were in the middle, with “Goodnight Sweetheart” rounding out the list of 14 melodies.