Joseph L. Dillon
While some people talk about sports, Joe Dillon played them. And he was good at all of them.
A lifelong athlete with an unbridled passion for sports, Joseph Leon Dillon of Findlay passed away Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Bridge Hospice Care Center in Findlay, Ohio. He was 84.
A resident of Findlay for more than 50 years, Joe was born April 22, 1934 in Highland Falls, New York to Evan and Elizabeth Dillon. On June 14, 1958, he married Nancy Sager of Deshler, and together they raised five children, Timothy, Susan, Patrick, Michael and Megan.
Whether it was on the football field, basketball court, bowling alley or golf course, Joe was a gifted athlete who was immensely proud of his accomplishments on the field of play. During his days at Highland Falls High School in New York, Joe was a standout athlete in football, basketball, baseball and track and earned a scholarship to the University of Dayton, where he competed in football and track. After he and his wife Nancy settled in Findlay, he became known locally in northwest Ohio for his exploits on the softball diamond, where he earned the nickname "Iron Jaw" and helped lead several area teams to the men's state fastpitch tournament during the 1960s and '70s. A fearsome hitter, he was especially proud of playing against and beating Eddie Feigner's world-renowned team, The King and His Court. USA Softball of Ohio recognized Joe's accomplishments in 2004 when he was inducted into the association's Hall of Fame.
Joe shared his knowledge and passion for sports, by coaching his sons in baseball and track. He helped several Findlay High School athletes qualify for the state track meet, including sons Pat, who finished fifth at the state meet in the discus in 1982, and Mike, who won a state championship in the event the following year and set a Findlay High School record that still stands today. Shot put and discus throwers from other schools throughout northwest Ohio would come to Findlay to work with him.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Joe served his country from 1953 to 1956 as a member of the Corps' Special Services Division. He was retired from business after a successful career in the food service industry as owner of J.L. Dillon Restaurant Supply and sales manager for BIRO Manufacturing.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Evan and Elizabeth Dillon, and brother James (Mary Ann) Dillon. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Nancy; children Timothy (Pam) Dillon, Susan (John) Reitman, Patrick (Justine) Dillon, Michael (Lynn) Dillon and Megan Dillon; sister Darlene (Carl) Dreschler; grandchildren Joseph Dillon, Matthew Dillon, Alex Dillon, Cameron Dillon, James Dillon, Lauren Reitman, Patrick Dillon and Thomas Dillon; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 23 at Kirkpatrick-Behnke Funeral Home, 500 Lima Avenue, Findlay. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 24 at St. Michael The Archangel Catholic Church, 750 Bright Road, Findlay, Ohio with Father Mike Zacharias celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery with military rights by the Hancock Veterans Memorial Squad.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the St. Michael The Archangel Catholic Church, 750 Bright Road, Findlay, OH 45840. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com.