Charles Everard Dills, 91, of San Luis Obispo was born in LaMoure, North Dakota in 1922 and died peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 15t, 2014, at his home surrounded by his family. Charles served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II (94 missions) in North Africa, Italy and southern France, attaining the rank of Major. After the war he earned a B.S. in chemistry from North Dakota Agricultural College, an M.S. from George Washington Univ., a Ph.D in physical organic chemistry from Harvard (1955) and a post-doctorate from Columbia Univ. He worked in industry until he accepted a teaching position at Northwest Missouri State College, where he met his future wife Sauny English. He then wrote for Chemistry and Engineering News, the house organ for the American Chemical Society. Charles and Sauny were married in 1961 and moved to Deep Springs College where he taught chemistry, physics and math. In 1963, he began teaching at Cal Poly, retiring after 27 years. He was a multi-talented man, helping to start the SLO Archaeological Society, the SLO Botanical Gardens and serving on several city and county commissions. His love of bromeliads built a large collection. His kindness will be remembered by friends and neighbors alike; his sense of humor never left him. Those who knew Charles will agree that he did not suffer fools gladly, speaking his mind even in the face of disapproval. Those that knew him well, smiled and counted his forcefulness as part of his charm. Charles was an atheist, but never denied the wonder and fascination of the universe. Stamps, coins, photography, problem solving, astronomy, music composition, computers, genealogy, WWII and travel were only a few of his interests. He is survived by his wife, Sauny; son Daniel and daughter-in-law Jennifer; grandson Erik, and his daughter Marit; son-in-law Anthony; niece Linda Leach and Linda's husband Lonnie. He was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel and Marie Dills; and his two sisters, Irene and Helen. Donations may be made to the
, to the SLO Botanical Gardens or to the SLO Veteran's Center. The family would like to thank French Hospital staff and Dignity Health Hospice for their superior professionalism and kindness to Charles and his family. A memorial celebration of Charles' life will be planned for sometime in March.
Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Feb. 26, 2014