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Dr. William ‘Bill’ Dillon

Dr. William ‘Bill’ Dillon

Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 4:18 pm

Dr. William “Bill” Arthur Dillon, born October 4, 1933 in Grayson, Kentucky, passed away on December 4, 2008 in Jackson, Tennessee. His parents were Charles Lindsey Dillon and Goldie Suttles Dillon. Services were at 1 p.m. Monday at Murphy Funeral Home, with the Rev. John Fairless and the Rev. Dwayne Maxey officiating. Burial was at East Side Cemetery in Martin. Pallbearers were Carroll Slack, Winifred Smith, Jimmy Trentham, Andy Sliger, David Pitts and Gordon Morris. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Margie Fincher Dillon; his daughter Sheila Dillon Fairless, her husband John and their children William (Jeanell), Christopher, and Kayla; his son Douglas Wayne Dillon and his wife Susan Boden Dillon; and his son Charles Lee Dillon and companion Brenda Grogan. He served his country faithfully both in the Korean War and later as a 20-year veteran in the Army National Guard. He was a long time member of the American Legion, as well. Dr. Dillon was a retired professor of biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He obtained his Bachelors degree from Texas Christian University in 1960, Masters degree from The College of William and Mary-Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 1963, and PhD in Parasitology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1969. He spent five years as a research scientist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point, and joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Martin in the fall of 1969. While at the University he coordinated multi-sectional biology labs (38 sections per year) and was responsible for the preparation and day-to-day activities associated with Biology Laboratory courses; served on various academic committees as well as the Faculty Senate; was a Physical Therapy advisor; was involved in the Mu Upsilon Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological society; received the UT General Alumni association “Outstanding Teacher Award” as well as the “Outstanding Professor Award” presented by “The Older Students Association”. He wrote and co-authored many publications which included excellent anatomical drawings of original research on Monogenetic trematodes (parasites of fish gills). William Dillon was known by many names throughout his life. In early years, him mom and grandmother called him Art, short for Arthur; to this day he is still known by this name by his Kentucky relatives. To his hunting friends and cousins he was “Squirrel” because of his love for and skill in squirrel hunting, sitting for hours under a hickory nut tree to detect squirrel cutting nubs; most often this squirrel was the basis for his supper. The name Bill was not used until he entered the Air Force. He held several jobs, paid and volunteer, throughout his lifetime. He worked as a dental technician, medic while in the Air Force, guitarist in a band, church choir director, and a barber as he worked his way through college and supported a family. He was called, “Teach” when he taught high school and was affectionately called “Doc” by his National Guard friends. He earned the right to be called Dr. Dillon after earning his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi; his students loved the way he made learning both interesting as well as attainable. Most of all, however, he preferred plain Bill. He was a father who spent many hours with his children growing up. He was a Little League Coach, a Softball Umpire, and loved to participate with his boys in the Scouts “Pinewood Derby”. Playgrounds, parks, woods, rivers and ponds were their favorite excursions together. They learned to respect nature from him. Each member of the family had their own affectionate name for him: Bill, Pops, Dad, Daddy, and Papa. He loved music and spent hours playing the guitar and passing on his love and gift for music to his children and grandchildren. We will all miss him greatly, but know that he has gone to be with his Lord and that he will continue to live in and through each one of us who loved him so very much. wcp 12-9-08

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1 Comment

  1. David H on December 1, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    My first year of college, my very first class, biology with Mr. Dillon.
    I was nervous and unsure of myself. His kind, persistent help was a milestone in my life which i will never forget. I loved his southern accent! And when he said: “when you have a cell..” Sounded like sayelle. I got an A+ ! !!

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