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1948 Thomas 2023

Thomas Dillard

April 24, 1948 — February 17, 2023

Tom Dillard, 74, of Dalton, MN passed away at home on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Born April 24, 1948 in Reno, NV, the oldest child to Joseph and Myrtle Dillard. He graduated from Wooster High School in 1967. After high school, Tom worked with his father in the family construction business and joined the Air National Guard. He served in the Air National Guard for six years. His unit was activated after graduation from basic training and he worked in the Communications Center as a specialist. He ended his military service with the rank of Staff Sargent.

Tom met his future wife Mary while they both worked at Sugar Bowl, a ski resort out of Norden, California. Tom moved to Minnesota in 1974 and he and Mary were married that year. Tom graduated from Control Data Institute with a computer programming certificate. He furthered his education at the University of Minnesota then worked as a computer programmer for Buttrey Stores in Minneapolis and then at Jostens out of their corporate office in Owatonna, MN.

Tom and Mary worked as house parents for the Range Center in Chisholm, living and serving six fun teenagers who had developmental disabilities. While in Chisholm their children were born. In 1986 the family moved to Fergus Falls to be close to family. Tom went back to his construction roots and worked for Northern Contours as a quality control supervisor. Tom and Mary were also foster parents to Gene for many years in Fergus before moving to Dalton. Tom enjoyed watching his two children grow up and attending their many activities. In later years, Tom worked as a school bus driver with Ottertail Coaches, a job he stated he liked best. He particularly liked the Kindergartners and doing bus runs for the Prairie Wetlands science classes. He retired due to deteriorating health.

Tom was full of stories, sometimes embellished, about his younger years living in Reno, particularly regarding racing cars and general shenanigans. He was an avid outdoorsman and in particular stated duck and goose hunting was his favorite followed by fishing and deer hunting. Stories about his hunting and fishing trips with his son and friends were told often. In the past year, he was able to go fishing , goose and deer hunting all with people he enjoyed immensely, which was a highlight of his year.

He was hard working, handy, loyal, stubborn and despite his tough exterior, soft on the inside. He also really liked “supervising”. He was protective of those he cared about-especially his family and his dogs.
Preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Myrtle; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Wendell and Estelle Huber; two brothers, Joe and Bill; brother-in-law, Tom Huber, and favorite dogs, Betsy and Riley.

Survived by his wife, Mary of Dalton; daughter, Katy of Eagan; son, Joe (fiancé, Glenda) of Fergus Falls; sister, Mary Ann Harrison of Denver, CO; brother, Jim (Sheri) of Sparks, NV; special nieces, Jessica Tison and Cassidi Brienza of Denver, CO and Pam Huber-Nelson of Buffalo, MN; four nephews, and other family and friends.

We will miss him forever.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Grant County Humane Society:

Visitation: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls, with prayer service at 5:30 p.m.
Clergy: Reverend Julie Carlson
Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to
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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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