Auburn: The Reverend John D. Dillon, 77, of Auburn, passed away Thursday, June 2, 2011. Born in Moravia, he was the son of the late Harry (Nick) and Mary Duggan Dillon. Father Dillon grew up and was educated in Holy Family Parish in Auburn. Not only did he graduate from Holy Family High School he was also ordained there June 6, 1959 by Bishop James E. Kearney. His ordination marked the culmination of several years of study at St. Andrew's and St. Bernard's Seminaries in Rochester. He was assistant pastor at St. Thomas More in Brighton (1959-64), St. Boniface in Rochester (1964-69) and St. Mary of the Lake in Watkins Glen (1969-71).
He was director of the diocesan Spanish Apostolate (1971-76), and during that time also served as priest in charge of a pastoral ministry in Rochester known as the Brown Square Spanish Speaking Community. He served in the Diocese of Syracuse from 1976-79, then for several months in 1979 associate pastor at St. Michael in Rochester and Elmira's St. Mary Southside. He was pastor at St. Michael in Rochester (1980-82); associate pastor at St. Mary's ,Waterloo (1982-84); and administrator and later pastor of the Church of the Epiphany, Sodus, and at St. Rose of Lima in Sodus Point.
He took a sabbatical to McGill University in Montreal in 1991 and upon his return served at Holy Cross in Charlotte . In 1993 he returned to the Auburn area and became chaplain at Auburn Correctional Facility . From 1995 until 2005 he was an assisting priest at St. Mary's Church in Auburn. In 2000 he became chaplain at Cayuga Correctional Facility in Moravia, retiring in August of 2002. In 2009 Father Dillon celebrated his 50th Jubilee. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and was very proud of his Irish heritage.
He is survived by a nephew Scott (Sandra) Dillon and their sons Spenser and Garrett of Windermere, Fla., two nieces, Julie Dillon Walsh and her daughter Savannah of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Jennifer (Shawn) Diehl and their daughter Samantha of Tampa, Fla. and a sister in law Phyllis Dillon and by several cousins. In addition to his parents Father Dillon was predeceased by a brother Martin Dillon.
Father Dillon will lie in state from 4-7pm on Monday June 6 at Holy Family Church, Auburn with Evening Prayer at 7pm. Father will lie in state on Tuesday, June 7 from 9:30-10:30am with his funeral liturgy at 10:30am with Bishop Matthew H. Clark, presiding. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Skaneateles. Donations in Father Dillon's memory may be made to the Holy Family Church, 93 North St., Auburn, NY 13021. Langham Funeral Home, LLC is handling Father Dillon's funeral arrangements.
Published by Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Jun. 4, 2011.