James W. Dillon of Port Griffith passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 65 years, Marion Halupka Dillon.
Jim was born on July 25, 1925 and was a lifelong resident of Jenkins Twp.. He was a son of the late James A. and Margaret O’Haire Dillon. He was a graduate of Jenkins Township High School, Class of 1942. He took additional educational courses at the University of Pennsylvania and attended the Wharton School of Finance. Jim was a member of the International Accountants Society and took a number of seminars in municipal government in planning, zoning and school administration. Jim was a United States Marine Corps veteran, having served during World War II. Upon completion of his military service, Jim began a life long career with the Scranton Times -Tribune family of newspapers, a career which spanned more than 50 years. He held a number of positions with the Times beginning as a delivery truck driver and mailer. Noting his proficiency with numbers, Jim soon found himself promoted to Credit Manager in the accounting department. His next promotion came as head of the Times Circulation Department, a position he held for over 20 years. In his last official capacity with the Scranton Times, Jim served as the editor/publisher of the New Age- Examiner (Tunkhannock) until his retirement in 1993. Jim received numerous awards throughout his tenure with the Scranton Times. He was one of the first recipients of the “Achievement Award” from the Inter-State Circulation Managers Association (an organization representing newspapers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Washington D.C.) As past president of this organization, Jim received 38 awards for outstanding sales and promotion.
In addition to his duties with the Scranton Times-Tribune, Jim was a founding member of the Scranton Times Employees Federal Credit Union, serving as treasurer for many years. His involvement with the Credit Union movement saw him become the second person ever to receive the National Credit Union Administration’s “Credit Union Volunteer of the Year” award, in recognition of his efforts to form credit unions in the Scranton area and his work as a Volunteer Organizer of the Scranton Chapter of Credit Unions.
Jim was a member of St. John the Evangelist Church, Pittston and served as chairman of the annual church bazaar. He was also a proud member of the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Club and was instrumental in reviving the Wyoming County Kiwanis Fair, serving in a number of roles including past president of the Fair Board. In recognition of his many years of service with the Fair, the Board saw fit to name one of the buildings on the fairgrounds in his honor. Several years ago, Jim was named the Pennsylvania State Fair Volunteer of the Year, an award he accepted by suggesting that the true recipients of such an award were his fellow Kiwanis members and the local community who passed through the gates of the fair each day.
Jim also demonstrated his commitment to his hometown of Jenkins Township by serving in a number of capacities. He organized the Little League, Junior and Senior Teeners Programs and was a past president. He was also a past president of the Jenkins Twp. Hose Company, a member of the planning-zoning committee, served on and was acknowledged as the youngest school board elected official in the state. Jim also found time to be a member of the Jenkins Township Lions Club, the American Legion and the local Boy Scouts. Most recently he served as a board member of the Northeast Fair.
Jim was a man of many interests, he traveled the world but still found great joy in working in his own backyard. He loved all sports and never missed a Philadelphia Eagles home game for the past 20 years.
He was loved and liked by all who knew him and he will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.
The Dillon family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the entire staff of Compassionate Care Hospice and Dr. Guy Fasciana for the excellent and professional care provided to Jim during his illness. A special thanks to Dr. John Callahan for his lifelong friendship and medical care and to Msgr. John J. Bendik, his pastor, for his spiritual guidance and the parish community for their prayers.
In addition to his wife, Marion, Jim is survived by his six children, Diane Swanek, Port Griffith; Eileen Mulhern and husband, Pat, Tunkhannock; Karen Dillon, Port Griffith; James W., Jr. and wife, Michele (Patchoski), Pittston; Marya Halat and husband, Edward, Dupont; and Margaret Ann Dillon and boyfriend, Albert D’Andrea, Pittston; his siblings, Joseph Dillon, Port Griffith; Marilyn Krall, Port Griffith; William Dillon, Laflin; Kathleen Morreale, Baltimore,MD; and Margaret O’Malley, Tunkhannock; grandchildren, Daniel, Marissa, P.J., Edward, Brendan, Megan, Katrina, and Jimmie; great grandchildren, Kaya, Landon, CJ and Emma Grace; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Tara Marie Swanek.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 18, 2013, at 9:30AM in St. John the Evangelist Church, William St., Pittston. Everyone attending the mass is asked to go directly to the church on Monday morning. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Military services will be conducted by the AMVETS Honor Guard of Greater Pittston.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects Sunday, November 17, 2013, from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Baloga Funeral Home, Inc. 1201 Main Street, Pittston (Port Griffith)
Memorial donations may be made to the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair P.O. Box 38 Tunkhannock, PA 18657 or to St. John the Evangelist Church 35 William Street Pittston, PA 18640.