Robert E. Dillon Jr. ’53

Deceased May 9, 2012

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In Memory

A gentle giant of our class has left us. Bob Dillon passed away peacefully from advanced inoperable melanoma May 9, 2012, in his Westfield, N.J., home--surrounded by Alice Sullivan Dillon, his wife of 58 years, five of their seven children and the music of a Brahms cantata he loved.

Bob was a splendid human being, a loyal friend, a tireless worker--always learning, always sharing knowledge and experience to help others. Says Alice, "He was a true Renaissance man. There was nothing he wasn't interested in, nothing he wouldn't learn or do while always a true family man."

The son of Marion McNulty and Robert E. Dillon, also an Amherst alumnus, Bob grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., one of eight of us from Nichols School in Amherst '53. He never failed to support Nichols, the annual Robert E. Dillon '49 Award established in 1990 to recognize extraordinary service by an out-of-town alumnus. At Amherst, Bob was business manager of The Amherst Student and WAMF, manager of the swimming team, with an "A" in soccer, and much more. He was elected to Sphinx, the junior year honorary society.

After Harvard Business School '55, Bob served in the U.S. Army Finance Corps, assigned to an ordinance depot south of Bordeaux. Back in the U.S., he launched a truly brilliant career in corporate finance--capped by 23 challenging and rewarding years at Sony Corporation of America, retiring in 1996 as executive vice president. Over the past 20-plus years, he was a force for volunteerism and charity within the extended Westfield, N.J., community, with many accomplishments and laurels.

Besides Alice, Bob is survived by their seven children, 20 grandchildren and his brother James Dillon '55 of Naples, Fla. The following from Dan Dillon '80 speaks for the whole family:

Bob was a loving husband, devoted father and enthusiastic grandfather.  He was a man of principle, sterling values, humility, open-mindedness, deep commitment, generosity and kindness. His legacy will live on in the meaningful projects he enabled and the many people he inspired. A fountain of knowledge and wisdom, as well as a model citizen, Bob will be dearly missed by his family and all those whom he touched during his lifetime.

Dan Dillon ’80
Philip W. Ransom Jr. ’53

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