1937 - 2012
Manuel Dillard passed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on June 5, 2012 after a brief battle with cancer. He was born Sept. 22, 1937 in Bristol, Tenn. to Rufus and Blanche Dillard.
He served proudly in the U.S. Air Force before setting up residence in Fairfield, Calif. Mr. Dillard and his former wife, Donna, raised their four children in Fairfield, Twain Harte and Sonora, Calif.
Mr. Dillard migrated to Colorado, Oklahoma, Washington State and most recently, Reedsport, Ore. where he opened and retired from Dillard’s Pet Products. His careers included submarine mechanic at Mare Island Naval Station in Vallejo, Calif., painting contractor, Tuolomne, Calif. County building inspector, Sonora, Calif. mine inspector, owner of McDillard’s Pet and Feed Store in Copperopolis, Calif. and props builder for Sonora Community Theater.
He is survived by his son Daniel and wife Sylvia, son Timothy and wife Betty Jo of Bethany, Okla., daughter Traci and husband Terry Ranuio of Turlock, Calif. and daughter Kathie and husband Mike of Tuolomne, Calif. He was the proud “Poppy” of 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren residing in Oklahoma, Colorado, Washington and California.
Mr. Dillard was an accomplished pilot and fisherman and loved watching baseball. He loved the great outdoors, especially the Pacific Coast, the ocean, the California Mother Lode and living an adventurous life.
“Thank you for the memories of these great adventures,” writes his family.
Manuel and his bride, Thelma Boswell Dillard, began traveling with plans of visiting family and friends across the country during their golden years. They were blessed to have visited the Pacific region in the most recent weeks.
The family would like to thank the staff from the Payson Regional Medical Center and the Hospice Compassus of Payson for the loving care and attention during Manuel’s illness.
“We would like to extend special thanks to Thelma Boswell Dillard of Payson and the Rev. Jeff Dunbin for their devotion and love during his final days,” writes his family.
Following cremation, Mr. Dillard will be returning to his special place in the California Sierra High Country.