Raydon Thomas Dillon
88, passed away peacefully to be with our Lord on May 12, 2014. Ray was born on September 10, 1925, in Joliet, Illinois to Thomas and Frances (Larson) Dillon who predeceased him. He attended St. Raymond's Catholic School in Joliet; Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham New York; and graduated from Mount Carmel High School in Chicago in June, 1943. Shortly after enrolling at St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, he was drafted and proudly served in the U.S. Navy (Pharmacist Mate 2nd class) from November, 1943 until June, 1946. After his discharge from the Navy, he returned to college and graduated from DePaul University in 1950. On September 26, 1953, he married the love of his life, Valerie Vance, who predeceased him on November 6, 2007. Together they raised four daughters: Karen, Patricia, Valerie and Donna. After living their early years in the Chicago area, they moved to New Jersey for seven years and then to Indianapolis in 1972, where they lived the remainder of their lives.
After college, Ray worked briefly for Chicago Electric Manufacturing Company, and then spent three years at Nabisco. He worked the remainder of his career in the pharmaceutical industry, first for National Drug of Philadelphia, and then for 30 years with Geigy Pharmaceuticals, where he was a district sales manager. He retired in 1988 and spent many wonderful years golfing and traveling with his wife, Valerie, as they explored Europe, Jerusalem and Alaska. In more recent years he was an active member of St. Luke Catholic Church, serving as an usher and a devoted member of the money counting crew on Monday mornings. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th degree, and enjoyed participating and serving in the Knights of Columbus chapter at St. Luke. He was also active in the Pike Township Residents Association and was a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. He was always quick to offer a hand to help others, and had a hug and kind word for everyone whose path he crossed.
His most cherished role in life, however, was that of a supportive and loyal husband, father and grandfather to his twelve grandchildren. He was immensely proud of his family, and devoted his life to supporting and encouraging them in all their pursuits. He was never too busy to drive a grandchild to preschool or to rescue another who had locked himself out of the house. He was an enthusiastic spectator at many basketball, football, baseball, soccer and kickball games over the years. He was a regular at all family events and celebrations, and often led a rousing chorus of "Anchors Aweigh" to ring in the New Year. His greatest gift was the unconditional love he gave so freely to his family. He made the world a kinder place with his smile, and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his four daughters, Karen Roth (Ken), Patricia Knoff (Kurt), Valerie Dillon, and Donna Bennett (Bryce); twelve grandchildren, Katie and Brian Roth, Courtney, Christopher, Matthew and Megan Knoff, Amy, Becky, Bryce, Dillon and Luke Bennett, and Molly Bennett Nowicki (Tyler).
The family would like to thank all those who offered prayers, friendship and love to Ray during his life, and in particular, to Dr. Chirag Amin and the staff at the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center, Inc., the providers at Marquette Health Center, and the St. Vincent Hospice staff for the loving care that was extended to Ray during the last year of his life.
Friends are invited to call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel , 740 E. 86th Street, or from 10 to 11 am on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7575 Holliday Drive East, Indianapolis. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at St. Luke Catholic Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke Catholic Church.