David James “Dave” Dillon, 73, of Sandpoint, Idaho, succumbed to cancer at home surrounded by close family and friends on Aug. 24, 2018.
Dave was born Aug. 11, 1945, in Spokane, Wash., to James and June (Graham) Dillon. He spent his childhood in Montana with his siblings Carol, Betty, Dale, Joyce and Mary June. Dave’s father passed away in a plane crash when Dave was only 8 years old. Raising six kids without a father must have been difficult for June, but she was strong and had a great sense of humor, which must have helped her through tough times. Dave cherished the memories made with his siblings and loved to tell stories of their childhood antics.
When Dave was 14, he moved to Sandpoint to live with his Uncle George and Aunt Flora Elliot and cousins Gary, Larry and Carla. He attended Sandpoint High School and was a talented athlete in both football and basketball. He was on the all-state basketball team in 1963, 1964. Dave loved the years spent with Gary, Larry and Carla, they formed a lifelong bond. He considered them to be more brothers and sister than cousins.
Dave went to the University of Idaho on a basketball scholarship in 1964, and then was drafted into the military January of 1967. He was with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade while in Vietnam and was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged in January of 1969.
Dave married the love of his life, Linda Patton, on June 12, 1970; they had two children, David Ray and Deanna Lynn. They shared a very loving marriage and strong bond for 48 years. Dave and Linda enjoyed the same hobbies. When they weren’t chasing the kids at sporting events, they spent most their time camping, fishing and hunting together with their children making wonderful memories to last a lifetime.
Dave had a long career with the Forest Service. He started on a trail crew and did lookout service out of high school. He received a logging systems degree from the State Forestry Institute at University of Oregon. He served 40 years in the U.S. Forest Service in Sandpoint and was a supervisor forestry technician managing and providing oversight of timber sales. Dave was a true woodsman and advocate for the benefit of wildlife and loved his work.
Dave was an avid athlete and outdoorsman. He played basketball competitively until he was 40 years old and the bonds he made with his teammates lasted lifelong. He loved camping, hunting and fishing with his family and friends. Dave was a wonderful father and treasured his time with his children and especially his grandchildren. Always patiently teaching them everything he knew about sports, hunting, fishing and survival tactics.
After retirement Dave and Linda traveled with friends and family to Arizona during the winter months. With their fifth-wheel, four-wheeler and motorcycles, they escaped the snow and explored the desert. They came home with many stories of the trials and tribulations of travel and all the fun they had.
Family was the most important thing to Dave. He always had time for his children and especially his grandchildren whom he loved more than anything. He formed the most special bonds with them. Alex, Julia, Austin and Sam will forever remember the wonderful times spent with their grandpa.
Dave was preceded in death by his father, James V. Dillon, his mother June M (Graham) Dillon and his brother Dale T. Dillon.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Linda (Patton) Dillon; his son, David and Ann Dillon, their children Julia and Austin; his daughter, Deanna Dillon and husband Mark Brown and their children Alex and Sam; and his sisters, Carol Sullivan, Betty Spiecher, Joyce Dillon, and Mary June Guise.
Dave’s memorial service will be at North Summit Church in Sandpoint on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 10:30 a.m., with a celebration of life to follow at the Elks Golf Course starting around 12:30 p.m.
Family and friends are invited to sign David’s online guestbook at coffeltfuneral.com.
Arrangements have been placed into the care of Coffelt Funeral Service of Sandpoint.