On September 15, 2020, Patricia Ann Dillon, the loving mother of three daughters, died at age 84. She was born on October 30, 1935 in High Point, N.C. to Helen Brown Dillon and Percy McNeer Dillon. In 1956, Pat received an Associate of Arts degree from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
She continued her education and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1958. Subsequently, she studied for a Master’s Degree in Russian History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 1974, she was awarded a Master’s Degree in Education from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Pat became a passionate teacher for high-risk students in a vocational counseling program in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. A supporter of public school desegregation, Pat organized a meeting of black and white parents in her daughter’s elementary school to insure a peaceful integration. She also volunteered as a Guardian Ad Litem with the family court, as an advocate for children involved in custody proceedings. Upon retiring from teaching, Pat started her own design/build company, remodeling residences and businesses. She had an unerring eye for interior and landscape design, and shared her design skills frequently with friends and family. Pat loved deep conversations, often all-night, on astrology, psychology, history, religion, and family lore. She felt a deep connection to God and was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. A generous spirit, Pat shared her time, energy and resources.
She was a talented pianist and music enthusiast, who completed her opera bucket list with Wagner’s entire ring cycle. During quarantine, she had begun working again on the Master’s thesis in history, which she was unable to complete while the attending the University of Michigan. Pat was an ardent champion of her home state, North Carolina and an intrepid global traveler. In her seventies, Pat journeyed solo to the Arctic Circle to view the aurora borealis, the American West on archeology digs, and across Russia on the Tran-Siberian Railway. She also explored the Pyrenees mountains in France and Spain (without the ability to speak either country’s language) alone in twelve-person passenger van—the only available vehicle with automatic transmission. With her daughters, Pat had many other adventures, including to Ireland, France, Greece and Turkey.
Pat is survived by her brother Percy McNeer Dillon, Jr. of McLeansville, N.C, and her three daughters, Helen Katherine Michael (Roy), Caroline Fleming Michael Osborne (John), and Dillon Michael Grenham (David), who with her five grandchildren, all live in the Washington, DC area.
A funeral service will be held in the summer of 2021, as circumstances allow, in Statesville, N.C. Donations in Pat’s memory may be made to Mary Washington University’s Great Lives Lecture Series, umw.edu, the C. G. Jung Society of the Triangle, jungnc.com, or Holy Trinity Church Greensboro, N.C., holy-trinity.com
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