Dallas E. Dillon
November 1957 ~ March 2020
Dallas E. Dillon passed away peacefully at home Saturday, March 20, 2020, with his wife Susan by his side. Dallas was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia and Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease in his mid-fifties, which eventually took away most of his memories and abilities, but not his love for faith, family, friends, and music.
Born in Baldwin City, Kansas, to Elvin and LaVergne Dillon, Dallas enjoyed a healthy lifestyle fixing fence, putting up hay, and playing sports year-round. He was an exceptional athlete and an outstanding student. He matriculated at Baker College, graduating in three and a half years, then moved to New York City where he attended St. John’s University and earned his MA in English, as well as Susan’s heart. After graduation he worked for several years as an English instructor at LaGuardia Community College and Monroe College as well as a French instructor at the Berlitz School.
Dallas moved to California in the 80’s to accept a teaching position in the Humanities Department at Merced College, where he worked for over 25 years. He not only taught his students the importance of critical thinking as seen through all texts, he also promoted collegiality with his peers whether organizing faculty golf tournaments or educated guessing during the month of March. A life-long student, he decided to continue his education, earning his Ph.D. in literature from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1996. We celebrated Dr. Dallas E. Dillon coast to coast that year.
Always aware of his good fortune to live in an area where he could golf year-round, he just about did, or he traveled someplace he could. He never went anywhere without his clubs. Even his wedding was a golf vacation, as Susan and Dallas married on the 12th hole of the Kona Coast Country Club on June 7, 1995.
Dallas will be remembered for his love of live music, especially performed by the Stones, attending as many concerts as he could each tour. He wouldn’t hesitate to travel across the country to see them, usually meeting up with his Bronx pals, looking forward to the set-list arguments after each show.
An avid sports fan, he took the number 24 for his jerseys and roulette number in honor of favorite player Willy Mays. He loved going to Giants’ games, and he rarely missed a Kansas or St. John’s basketball game on television. One of his proudest moments was surviving the Black Hole in Oakland while rooting for his favorite football team the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dallas was able to remain in his home thanks to Community Hospice, and his caregivers from Bethany In-Home services but, most of all, thanks to Ashley Carroll, his favorite caregiver, whom he could make laugh with his Chuck Berry moves and Seinfeldian eye rolls. Additional thanks to an amazing circle of support, especially Dallas’ friend Kitty, as well as neighbors and friends, who provided prayers, posies, and countless meals over the years. The Central Catholic High School community was instrumental, too, going above and beyond for Dallas and his needs. It really is a WE thing.
Although Dallas’ life on earth was all too short, we rejoice that he has eternal life in heaven. He was predeceased by his beloved parents and his special cat Maeve. He is survived by his wife Susan, forever united in love and laughter. He is also survived by his brother Tom Dillon, his hero and best friend, sister-in-law Dianna, and their children Slade, Travis (Lisa), and Dina Dillon, all of Kansas. Sisters-in-law Sr. Nancy Richter, OP, Janet Richter (Michael), nieces Samantha and Erica, all of New York, and brother-in-law Jim Richter (Aimee), nephews Connor and Logan of Arizona will also miss him dearly.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers to consider a donation to one of the following organizations: Archdiocese for the Military Services (chaplain support); Cat Network of Stanislaus; or Central Catholic High School, for a Shakespeare garden in Dallas’ memory.
Dallas will be interred in Washington Creek Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas. Several celebrations of life with good food and great music will be held in New York, Kansas, and California at dates to be determined. Dallas always felt people should live on both coasts at some point in their lives but land in the middle. Well done, sweet prince. May the Good Lord shine a light on you.