ROBERT E. DILLON - There will be less laughter in the world without Robert E. Dillon of Louisville CO. Originally from Cleveland, Bob left to join the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967. He was a combat photographer as an enlisted man and later got a commission and retired as a Captain in 1987. His love of animals led him to work at the San Diego Zoo in the summer of 1987. Until he retired from the Zoo as the Director of Operations 28 years later, he worked a myriad of positions including elephant keeper. While at the Zoo, Bob served as the leader of their Access Advisory Group. Bob and his group created policy and developed procedures to ensure the Zoo’s programs were inclusive and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also served on the Mayor’s Committee on Disabilities for the city of San Diego as the Chairperson for Policy. In 2014, he was presented the John F. Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disabilities, Community Asset Award. The award recognizes individuals who continually demonstrate success in improving accessibility for people with disabilities in their city, state, or region. Bob’s commitment to the community extended outside the Zoo, with his volunteer work at Rady Children’s Hospital where he participated for 15 years in the Pet Therapy Program with his golden retrievers Marley, then Shamrock. After he moved to Louisville with his wife, Michelle Reddy, he volunteered at Medicine Horse, then at the Agricultural Heritage Center, Boulder County Parks and Open Space. He also ran for Colorado House District 12 in the last election. Wherever he worked, Bob had a reputation for making people laugh and be at ease, while getting them to do their best at the same time. He was a mentor to many and made such a difference in the lives of those he knew; he made the Earth a better place.
Bob died on 8 March 2018 after a valiant struggle with stage 4 lung cancer. He leaves behind his best friend and wife, Michelle Reddy; two daughters, Tiffany McCracken (Jason) and Debbie Snell and their families; his two sisters Diane Roberts and Kathy Fultz and their families; and the family of his late brother, Michael Dillon. He will be also be missed by his golden retrievers, Shamrock and Gracie Rose, the puppy he gave to Michelle after he fell ill “so Gracie could be there to love Michelle when he was not.” His contagious laugh and smile will forever be in our hearts.
A funeral Mass and graveside service with Military honors will be held at 11 AM on 24 March at Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Boulder. In lieu of flowers, it was Bob’s wish that donations be made in his name to Foundation for Children In Need http://fcn-usa.org/.