Walter "Whip" Oliver Dill, 87, of Smithton, Ill., formerly of Belleville, Ill., born March 21, 1926, in Belleville, Ill., departed this life on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Ill., surrounded by his beloved family.
Whip was a dedicated and loyal man to his wife of 63 years, Dolores, to his daughters, to his grandchildren, to his job of 41 years, and to his passions and hobbies.
He was very outgoing and claimed to have never met a stranger. He could strike up a conversation with anyone. He loved to talk to people and earned the nickname "Gabby".
As a young man, Walter proudly served his country in the Army Air Force during World War II. He was a professional baseball player in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization, and played many years with the Edwards, Stoebers, and Stag ball clubs in Belleville. He later shared his love of baseball with his daughters while managing their Khoury League softball teams.
After returning from the war, Whip was employed by the Stag Brewery as a stationary fireman. He retired after 41 years of service. He was a very proud and devoted grandfather, never missing any of his grandchildren's school activities.
His whole life, Whip had a passion for duck, goose, and deer hunting, along with fishing. He also trained Labrador Retrievers. His dog "King" was an Amateur Trained and Handled Champion. He received the "Ducks Unlimited Man of the Year" in 1985. During his retirement years, he enjoyed travelling, refinishing furniture, hunting, fishing, and working on his son-in-law's farm.
Walter was an avid supporter of the 1989 State Champion Freeburg Midget Baseball Team. He was instrumental in the construction of their ball field and could be found there almost any day working the field or watching the games.
He was a member of St. John's UCC, Smithton, Ill., where he was past president of the Young-at-Heart. He was also a member of the Masonic Magnolia-Euclid Lodge 626 of Crestwood, Mo., American Legion Smithton Post 937, and the National Rifle Association.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Dill and Marie Dill Myers, nee Borutta; a sister and brother-in-law, Rose Marie and John Gambo; sisters-in-law, Alice Dill and Alvina Knecht; and brother-in-law, Alfred Knecht.
Surviving are his wife, Dolores, nee Klemme, Dill, whom he married on April 15, 1950, at St. Paul's UCC, Belleville, Ill.; his constant companion, Patches; four daughters, Constance (Michael) Hill of Franklin, Ind., Dr. Susan Dill of San Antonio, Texas, JoAnn Bertelsman of Belleville, Ill., and Jane (Dean) Skaer of New Athens, Ill.; seven grandchildren, Dr. Carrie (Joseph) Villanueva of Bargersville, Ind., Angie Bertelsman of Chicago, Ill., Benjamin "BJ" (Marcie) Bertelsman of Elgin, Ill., Elizabeth Skaer (Travis) Shaw of New Athens, Ill., John Skaer of New Athens, Ill., Jennifer (Khan) Ravanh of Champaign, Ill., and Sarah (Brian) Gebhardt of Edwardsville, Ill.; nine great-grandchildren, Joseph and Presley Villanueva, Cecelia and Benjamin Jr. Bertelsman, Dean Shaw, Branson and Bo Ravanh, and Olivia and Lucas Gebhardt; three brothers, Raymond Dill and Wayne Dill, both of Belleville, Ill., and Ronald (Judy) Dill of New Athens, Ill.; a brother-in-law, Roland (Bernice) Klemme of Belleville, Ill.; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A special thank you to the staffs of Freeburg Care Center, Memorial Hospital, and Hospice of Southern Illinois for their loving support of Walter.
Memorials in Walter's memory may be made to St. John's UCC, to Hospice of Southern Illinois, or to the
. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill. A Masonic ritual will be held Friday evening followed by an American Legion ritual at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening at the funeral home.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill. Burial with military honors will follow at Smithton City Cemetery, Smithton, Ill.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Aug. 30, 2013
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