Carol Dillon obituary (1929 – 2021) – Eureka, CA

Carol Jean Dillon

Carol Jean Dillon passed away surrounded by her daughters on September 13, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, David Dillon; his daughters Deby Wiley (Gary) and Cyndi Hovis (Bill); grandchildren, Sarah Williams (Jon), Paul Wiley (Geri), Leah Bierwerth (Guy), Joel Wiley (Emily), Samantha Hovis and Clark Hovis; and great-grandchildren, Olivia, Madeline, Minte, Ellington, Ethan, Benjamin, Joshua, Addison, Hudson and Gabriel. Carol was born January 16, 1929 in Salem, Oregon, to Herman and Lois Miller. She was the oldest of three daughters and the Miller sisters were very close throughout their lives. Her father took on a new job and the family moved to Olympia, Washington, where she graduated from high school in 1946. As was family tradition, Carol enrolled at Oregon State University in Corvallis and joined the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. On a Christmas visit to her home in Olympia, she attended a DeMolay and Rainbow Girls party with her younger sister, Norma, where she was introduced to David Dillon and they started dating. In June 1950, Carol graduated from OSU with a degree in Home Economics. She and David married in August 1950 on David’s birthday. He always brags that the best birthday present he ever had was to marry Carol. After their marriage, Carol began teaching home economics in Tenino, Washington. One of her favorite memories is that during her second year of teaching, Sister Norma moved in with David and Carol and started teaching PE at the same school. The sisters shared a can of Campbell’s soup every day that year, trying out all of the company’s flavors. The couple moved to Olympia, Washington, where their first daughter, Deby, was born. The next move was to San Francisco where his daughter Melanie was born and David worked in the banking industry. After receiving a promotion at Crocker Bank, Carol and David moved to Humboldt County where he served as a bank manager in several locations. While in Scotland, they welcomed their third daughter, Cyndi. Carol was known to be a lovely host and to throw amazing Christmas parties in their home. Sadly, in 1961, her daughter Melanie died in an accident. During the famous 1964 flood, they opened their home to other residents who were trying to escape the severe flooding of the Eel River. In 1966 the family moved to Arcata and Carol started working for PG&E as a home economist. She visited county fairs and provided cooking demonstrations and school programs, focusing on new technology and appliances of the day. Carol told her grandchildren that she was one of the first women in the area to own a microwave and taught others to cook different foods with it. As Carol’s career progressed at PG&E, she hosted a TV show on KEET called “Cooking with Carol”. Her youngest daughter Cyndi remembers being the guinea pig of all her new concoctions that she would end up presenting to the program. By this time, Carol was a local celebrity and her phone would ring at Thanksgiving time as she answered questions about turkeys and stuffing. Her love for cooking and helping women spend less time in the kitchen has made her an incredible force in the community. In 1976 Carol and David moved to Eureka. The couple began welcoming exchange students through the Rotary International program. It has been their joy to open their home for over 20 years developing close relationships with students, their families and other Rotary clubs. As the exchange students had their own families and jobs, they often returned to Humboldt County to visit Dave and Carol. These visits were invaluable to Carol and showed the impact she had made on their lives. After their retirement, Carol and David traveled extensively around the world. They especially loved their visits to Hawaii enjoying the flowers and the sunsets. Annual hikes across the country to visit their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a must, and they tried to take a different route each time. When Carol arrived, she opened the trunk and took out boxes of applesauce and homemade jam. The grandchildren remember it was always a treat to see what flavors she had made that year! Carol and David have never missed a grandchildren milestone: no missed high school / college diploma, marriage or birth. Carol made quilts for each grandchild when they graduated from high school, making sure to incorporate fabric designs that showcase their hobbies, talents, and favorite colors. Over the years, Carol has never failed to send birthday and Christmas cards to her family, exchange students and friends. Firefighters’ groups and leadership of the Quilting Women’s Guild at the Presbyterian Church. Over the years, she has given generously of her time to making baby quilts, sewing pillows, and many other sewing projects. When she was not busy volunteering, she would hum happily in her garden tending to her beautiful roses. Carol will be sadly missed by her family. His generous and loving heart has touched many people over the years, in the Humboldt region and abroad. Proverbs 31: 28-29 states, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many women have done excellent things, but you surpass them all.” Carol’s thoughtful and perfectly timed cards, warm smile, and generous demeanor are the legacy she leaves behind. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation, PO Box 123, Cutten, CA 95534 or Humboldt Botanical Gardens, PO Box 6117, Eureka, CA 95502. The family would like to thank Dr. Paul Shen in St. Joseph’s Hospital and Larona Farnum and her staff for their kindness and loving care. A memorial service is scheduled for October 16, 2021 at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian, Eureka. The family requests that attendees come in Hawaiian / vibrant colors to celebrate Carol’s life.

Published by Times-Standard on October 15, 2021.

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