John Jacob Dillard, 70, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, after his valiant battle against kidney cancer. John was born Oct. 8, 1940, in Grangeville to William Commadore and Elma Moton Dillard. John was the youngest of four children. John attended elementary school in Kooskia and Portland, Ore. He attended high school in Kooskia and Lewiston.
John enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1960, where he served as a gunner's mate aboard the USS Hull. He was assigned to the naval base in San Diego, with tours throughout the Pacific. He was also a member of the Crudesflot and Comdesflot 7 rifle teams. He traveled throughout his naval career, competing in shooting competitions. His evaluations from the Navy were a true reflection of who this man was. His superiors reported: "He commands the respect of all the men in his Division." "He frequently works extra hours to maintain his equipment in excellent operating condition." "Dillard provided excellent leadership for the men assigned to him and developed an extremely effective training program" and last, "His separation will represent a loss to the Navy." He maintained contact with his Navy friends and looked forward to his Navy reunion every two years, including the last one in October 2010 in Las Vegas. He was also a member of the Tin Can Sailors, which is The National Association of Destroyer Veterans.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, John started his career in drywall. This venture led to the start of Central Idaho Systems. He continued to operate CIS until his death. His drive for the business was a direct reflection of his time in the Navy. The way he conducted himself in the Navy spilled over into his business. His desire for excellence and quality was evident by the product he and his staff provided. He was extremely proud of his employees and often referred to them as "good hands." He was especially proud of his foreman and friend, Walt Bloomsburg. One of John's favorite quotes is posted above the door in his shop. It reads: "Integrity is doing the right thing even if nobody is watching." John was a workaholic who was always concerned with having the job done on time and done right. This was clear by the long hours during the week as well as the weekend. Many times he could be caught napping in his chair late in the evening trying to catch up. He always pointed to a saying on his desk that said, "I'm just catching up with yesterday - by tomorrow I should be ready for today."
John's true love away from his business was the water. Animal House, Sunkist, and the Cat were the rafts that John loved to oar down the river. His jet boats were his fishing vessels on the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater rivers. His pride and joy however was the J-Rig. Everyone who saw it knew that Dillard was on the river. Being on the rivers was his home away from home. Playing guitar and singing with his good friend Charlie Weaver was the highlight of every evening. No one went to sleep until the music stopped.
John was a member of the Culdesac and Lewiston Gun Clubs. He enjoyed trap shooting, where he spent hours visiting with his friends. He also liked to take his dogs hunting. John was also a member of the Moose, Eagles and American Legion. He was also a member of RAFT, River Access For Tomorrow.
John is survived by his wife, Connie Dillard; her two sons, Mike and Kristi Murphy and children Michael and Madelynn, Steve and Cari Murphy and daughter Lauren; his stepdaughter, Tammy and John Deneen; sister Martha Dillard; nieces and nephews: Randy and Martha Smith, Dan and Piney Smith, Mark and Kay Smith, Lori and Jerry Sumpter, Susan and David Graham, Marilyn and Jack Coeryell, Debbie Lavine and Steve Mead.
Preceding John in death were his parents; sisters Olive Gongliewski and Lucinda Smith; and Tammy's daughter, Mary Ianuzzi.
John would be honored by your contributions to a veterans association, kidney cancer research, or the charity of your choice. As per his wishes there are no funeral services.
Goodbye dear friend
May you rest in peace
Sailor rest your oar