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Roy Arthur Dillon of St. James passed away Thursday March 7th, 2019 at the St. James Living Center. He was 83 years 11 months and 2 days of age.
Roy was born April 5, 1935 at Lanes Prairie, Mo., the son of Everett Vernon and Nicy Viola Moreland Dillon.
Roy was united in marriage to Bonnie Sue Koerber on January 2, 1960 in Vienna, MO. Bonnie entered into rest on September 15, 2017.
Roy is survived by one son, Gregory Arthur Dillon and his wife, Julie of St. James; Daughter-In-Law Edna Dillon of St. James; one daughter, Deanna Lynne Jones and husband, Richard of St. James and one sister, Emmis Lou Campbell and husband, Vernon of St. James. He is further survived by 8 grandchildren: Charlyn Stroud and her husband Johnny, Brittany Casey and husband Shane, Tess Neimeyer and husband Todd, Chelsea Greeson and husband Colin, Shea Dillon, Connor Dillon and Emily and Kennedy Jones; and great-grandchildren Lauren, Landyn, Madi, Dillon, Mallory and Terryn.
Roy is preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Dillon; his son, Terry, and his parents, and infant brother, Ray Alvin Dillon.
Roy’s love of farming began at an early age. He started going along with his father to feed the animals when he was only two years old. He loved every aspect of farming. In his early years, he helped his dad do the field work with a team of horses, but with the popularity of tractors, he soon fell in love with the poppin’ Johnny. He often worked in the fields from sunup to sundown; the poppin’ sounds of the 50 John Deere made those long hours more tolerable. He raised steers and hogs through the 4-H program at Safe, MO. During high school, he was active in the agriculture program started by Ford Hughes and FFA.
After graduating from John F. Hodge High School, he began working with his uncle, Floyd Dillon, in the clay business. During this time, he had his first chance to run a bulldozer in 1955; this was the beginning of his future career in the excavating business. He continued operating the bulldozer for his uncle or Dr. Stricker until 1963 when he bought his first bulldozer, a D7 Caterpillar from Bill Cox and started his own business. His first job was helping to build the pool at the St. James Park. A few years later, he dug the lake in the park. He really enjoyed running the bulldozer, and he had a natural talent for constructing lakes. He continued the excavating business with his wife, Bonnie, as his secretary until 2002 when his son, Terry took over the business.
In 1964, he and his wife purchased his Grandpa and Grandma Dillon’s farm, and he started raising Hereford cattle. In 1989, he began Dillon Fertilizer along with his wife, his sons and their wives; they operated it until 2002. He retired in 2000, although it was only a retirement on paper only. He continued to help Terry restoring clay pits and raising cattle. He raised beef cattle that he sold to local customers. He spent many hours reading the farm journals learning how to build his herd to have the correct percentage of fat and its marbling to get the best tasting beef. He kept his family apprised of his success in this venture often during our family suppers, especially if steak was for dinner. However, he and my brothers found out the breed mixes that produced great tasting beef sometimes produced cows with undesirable traits which made the cattle working days quite eventful; his sons and grandchildren have many stories to share.
He served his country in United States Army in Germany in 1957-1959. He was a member of Broadway Baptist Church.
Roy Arthur Dillon will lie in state from 4-8 pm Saturday March 9, 2019 at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Mo.
Funeral Service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at the Broadway Baptist Church with Stephen Brubaker officiating with Jeannete Ashley at the piano. Special vocalist will be Kennedy Jones and Shea Dillon. Pallbears will be Connor Dillon, Johnny Stroud, Todd Neimeyer, Colin Greeson, Shane Casey, Kerry Feeler and Scott Feeler. Honorary Pallbears will be Charlyn Stroud, Brittany Casey, Tess Neimeyer, Chelsea and Mallory Greeson, Shea Dillon, Emily Jones, Kennedy Jones, Landyn Stroud, Darrel Koerber and Jason Walters. Burial with Full Military Honors will be at the Broadway Memorial Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Broadway Memorial Sign or St Louis Children’s Hospital.
On-line condolences and gifts to the family may be made at www.jonesfunerals.com
All arrangements are under the direction of the Jones Funeral Home in St. James.
Broadway Cemetery Sign Fund
200 South Meramec, St James MO 65559
St. Louis Children's Hospital
One Children's Place, St Louis MO 63110