MAJ Willard Albert “Matt” Dillon


MAJ Willard Albert “Matt” Dillon

Death 26 Nov 2015 (aged 84)
Burial Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 155477328 View Source

Maj. (retired) Willard Albert "Matt" Dillon, 84, passed away on Nov. 26, 2015, at his daughter's home in St. Augustine. He was born on Nov. 14, 1931, in Boyd County, Kentucky, to Andrew Johnson "Johnce" and Nellie Mae Rice Dillon.

Matt became a follower of Jesus in the 1980s and held strong for the rest of his life on this earth. Hebrews 11, in many ways, describes Matt and his ability to return home (Hebrews 11:13-16). His character did not allow him to retreat from a commitment he made, whether to God, family, or nation. And that character was reflected throughout his lifetime.

Matt grew up "on the wrong side of the tracks" in Kentucky and Crown Hill, West Virginia. As the oldest child he developed an early sense of responsibility for others. God blessed him through a lack of employment in the region, forcing him to enlist in the Air Force in 1950 as an airman, where he excelled in the challenges. Although without college, in 1954 his talents allowed him to become an officer. As an officer, he developed a maturity and tactical awareness that further allowed him to move from a maintenance officer and become a pilot. His love of flying fighters translated into four tours in the Vietnam war, in the Starfighter jet and then as an Air Commando flying Skyraiders in offensive and rescue missions of North Vietnam, Laos, and China. Throughout all, he was continuously recommended for promotion ahead of his class and his decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit Citation with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Outstanding Unit Award with an Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service with a Bronze Star, Vietnam Service with 6 Bronze Stars, Air Force Longevity with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Armed Forces Reserve, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and Vietnam Campaign medal.

After twenty years he retired from the Air Commandos and went to college, graduating with honors and a bachelor of arts in less than two years. He went on to become an IRS agent where he again excelled, eventually becoming the key computer support person for the local IRS office, in addition to being an active agent at the time of his retirement after twenty-five years from the IRS. Matt's commitment resulted in denial of his own desires during his life. He never sacrificed his morality and integrity. He has passed into his children and grandchildren the value of knowing who you are and standing strong to who you are, regardless of the cost. Matt Dillon's legacy stands before the world not only in records, but in the family that his quiet strength, honor, commitment and integrity shaped.

Matt is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara Ann Gilliland Dillon, of St. Augustine; his daughters Elissa (Jack) Hinze of Elk Grove, California, and Brigetta (Jon) Williams of St. Augustine; his son Richard (Robin) Dillon of Cabot, Arkansas; his sister Bessie Estep of Clear Lake, Texas; his grandchildren Taylor Leigh Williams, Jaime Lea Dillon (Chris) Buehler, Coleman Matthew Dillon, Rebekah Marie Dillon; his great-grandchild Connor; and his nieces and nephews and other relatives. Matt was preceded in death by his parents, Johnce and Nellie Mae Dillon, sister Evelyn Walker, and brothers Carlos Dillon and John Wendall Dillon.
A viewing will be held 5-8 p.m., Dec. 2, at the Craig Funeral Home, 1475 Old Dixie Hwy., St. Augustine. The funeral will be at 11:30 a.m., Dec. 3, at the First Church of the Nazarene, 6 May St., St. Augustine, followed by the burial at 2:30 p.m. at the National Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida. Flowers are appreciated or a donation to the Independence Fund for wounded soldiers or Wreaths Across America.
St. Augustine Record, Nov. 29, 2015

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  • Created by: Susan
  • Added: 28 Nov 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 155477328
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for MAJ Willard Albert “Matt” Dillon (14 Nov 1931–26 Nov 2015), Find a Grave Memorial ID 155477328, citing Jacksonville National Cemetery, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Susan (contributor 46770931) .