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Wallace "Wally" Dillon

Jun 29, 1926 - Oct 29, 2017
ObituaryShare A Memory

Wallace (Wally) Oliver Dillon, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 29, 2017.   

Wally was born in Yakima, Washington, on March 29, 1926, to Oliver and Grace Dillon and grew up in Ellensburg with his sisters Phyliss and Jacqueline (Jackie). 
 
On January 4, 1944, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy.  He served in the South Pacific as a helmsman on the U.S.S. Ausburne, flag ship of the Little Beavers Destroyer 23.  After the war ended, Wally and his shipmates came back with the U.S.S. Missouri -- after a stop in Washington, DC, to receive the Presidential Unit Citation from President Truman.
 
It was the Navy that first brought Wally and his wife Clo together.  Wally and a shipmate were on shore leave at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; the shipmate's girlfriend insisted that she would only go out with him if it was a double date. The shipmate talked Wally into going on a blind date and, six months later, Wally and Clo were married. 
 
They moved to Ellensburg, where their first two children were born. When Wally was recalled to the Navy in 1950, Clo and the children moved back to New York to be with her family. When Wally was discharged, they remained on the east coast, living first in New York and then in New Jersey. They had four more children. 
 
Wally earned his commercial pilot’s license and flew corporate jets for Continental Can Corporation for 20 years.
 
Wally joined the Knights of Columbus on November 1, 1964, at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, becoming a 4th Degree Sir Knight on November 25, 1965.  While living in New Jersey, Wally and Clo were active members of St. Therese Catholic Church in Succasunna, New Jersey.  
 
Wally served on the Board of Education for the Roxbury School District.
 
He and Clo lived in Succasunna for 20 years before moving back to Ellensburg in 1971 with their two youngest children.
 
When Wally moved back to Ellensburg, he followed in his father’s footsteps, working for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company from 1971 until his retirement in 2001.  
 
Wally and Clo were long-time active members of St. Andrews Catholic church.  Their commitment to the church extended to being Eucharistic ministers, delivering Communion to homebound church members for about 10 years.  Wally continued his service with the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree as a former Faithful Navigator. November 25th would have marked his 52nd year as a 4th Degree Knight.
 
Along with his wife Clo, Wally was dedicated to raising money and awareness for several organizations.  
 
He was instrumental in raising money for a W.W.II Memorial in Olympia for Washington State, after his research found Kittitas County had the highest per cent (14%) killed in W.W. II.
 
Wally and Clo and were invited to a special luncheon with the artist who made the Memorial where Wally was presented with a plaque that read:  
 
“In grateful appreciation to Wally Dillon for your extraordinary efforts in raising funds for the Washington State World War II Memorial.  You demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the project and served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the future generations of our state.  Signed this 9th Day of July 1999 John M. King, Chair of the WWII Memorial Committee”
 
Wally was also involved in raising funds for the Memorial for the Unborn at St. Andrews Church.
 
Wally’s interest and support of the Ellensburg Rodeo started early—he first volunteered for the Ellensburg Rodeo as a youngster in the 1930s, riding his bicycle to guide tourists to the rodeo housing and in 1940 was a member of the Ellensburg Buckaroo Club.   
 
After moving back to his hometown of Ellensburg, Wally became a member of the Ellensburg Rodeo Posse and served on the Rodeo Board for over a decade, from 1975-86, including several terms as Royal Court Director.  Both of these organizations served as a way for Wally to be a part of something he loved, be involved in the community and to give back, which were all very important to him. 
 
Wally and Clo were honored with the title “Ellensburg Rodeo Family of the Year” in 2001 and the Ellensburg Rodeo dedicated the Saturday afternoon performance in 2014 to Wally and his service as a former Rodeo Board member.  
 
Wally was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Clotilde, and his granddaughters Azure Dillon and Karen Tunkel.  He is survived by his children, Sarah (Mayor) Langer, Scottsdale, AZ., Sandi (Bruce) Ritzer, Winter Springs, FL, Paul (Genie) Dillon, Exeter, ME, Connie (Ray) Krontz, Seattle, WA, Denise (Tom) Mark, Monrovia, CA and Michael (Carol) Dillon, Camano Island, WA, his grandchildren, Robin, Skye, Quinn, Kristin, Michael John, Christopher, Emma, Hilary, Kelsey, Zac, and Oliver, and his great-grandchildren, Ian, Aerin, Gian and Tristen.
 
A Funeral Mass will be said at St. Andrew’s Catholic church on Thursday, November 2nd at 11:00 a.m. followed by burial at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. 
 
Donations in Wally Dillon’s memory can be made to the Salvation Army, Yakima, Washington in care of Brookside Funeral Home 101 E 2nd Ave. Ellensburg, WA 98926
 
 

Funeral Information

Funeral service

Nov 2, 2017:11:00 a.m.

St. Andrews Catholic Church

Ellensburg, WA

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Graveside

Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery

Ellensburg, WA

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