Paul Ralph Dillon was born Feb. 6, 1931 in Franklin, PA to Oscar and Maude (Gilmore) Dillon. He passed peacefully at HopeWest Hospice Care Center on Friday, September 30, 2019 with his wife and children by his side. Paul was raised in Titusville, PA the 3rd of 4 sons. He led a typical childhood, his father ran a grocery store and his Mom stayed home and tried to corral 4 boys. Paul loved being outside and as a five year old decided he wanted to be a cowboy, and at 16 his Dad decided he needed some discipline and responsibility and sent him to his cousins ranch in Wyoming on a train. Three days later, he walked and hitch hiked to the Welton Ranch and you might say, a cowboy was born. Paul continued to come to the Welton ranch for three more summers until he graduated from high school. He and Isabel Kerr were high school sweethearts and married soon after Isabel graduated high school. Paul was in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, VA. In fact, he almost missed the wedding because of a car accident when hitchhiking back to base the week before which landed him in the hospital, but he was released and hitchhiked back to Titusville for the wedding. They began their married life on June 16th, 1951. Paul soon shipped out and was on board the ship USS Stephen Potter in Korean waters when he got the news that his first child, Rebecca, was born in 1953. Paul was discharged from the Navy in 1954, and life began. A second child, Scott was born in 1955 while Paul was working at the steel mill in Titusville, PA, soon however, Paul realized he didn’t want to work in the mill and took advantage of the GI Bill to attend Edinboro Teachers College. After graduating in the spring of 1957 Paul decided it was time to finally fulfill his dream of moving to the west, it wasn’t hard to convince his wife to load up and go, even though she was carrying her third child. They finally got to Craig, CO, where Paul began his teaching career, teaching chemistry, physics, and advanced biology. In 1958 their 3rd child Jeff was born. They soon bought their first ranch, 300 acres, a dilapidated house, and no livestock near Maybell, they proudly bought it for $12,000. They bought a hundred head of ewes and started learning the livestock industry. After 3 years they sold the ranch (for a profit) and finished the school year in Craig. Paul had been awarded a grant from the National Science Association at Arizona State University for an 8 week summer session followed by the regular academic school year and would result in receiving a Masters Degree in Chemistry. The Dillon’s once again piled everything into a truck and moved, Isabel was carrying their fourth child. Alan was born in 1962, while Paul was completing his degree. Paul took a teaching job at Eastern Arizona College stayed for 3 years, then accepted a fellowship at Cornell University to study radiation biology, in Ithaca, New York. After Cornell,he taught at Glenville State College, in West Virginia. After a year, Paul decided to move his family back to Colorado and try putting together a ranch. He taught in Nucla for 3 years he, then moved to Plateau Valley to establish a base ranch. Paul served as high school principal and also taught all the science classes while at PV. It is interesting to note, that Paul taught his wife, Isabel, his daughter, Becky at Nucla High School then his sons, Scott and Jeff, his future son-in-law Ray, his future daughter-in-law Rhonda and son Alan was a student when he was principal at Plateau Valley. He quit teaching and started ranching full time when they bought Blue Creek Ranch in February 1983. Many adventures were had by all on Blue Creek. This is where Paul got to fully realize his dream of ranching and being a cowboy. Grandchildren started coming even before the move to Blue Creek, but they quickly multiplied and nothing put a smile on Paul's face more than all the kids and grandkids gathering at the ranch. Working this ranch as a family with Isabel and his children and grandchildren will always be one of Paul’s greatest joys. After many years they retired from the ranch to travel full time. Many trips to Alaska, Canada, Mexico and all over the US followed, with two very memorable trips with their grandchildren to Yellowstone, first with the 10 oldest, then with 4 younger ones. Paul was many things to many people: he was a son, a brother, a friend, a teacher, a mentor, a cowboy, but mostly Paul was a husband to Isabel for 68 years and he was the patriarch of our family. He will be missed for all the wonderful things he did with each of us and we will be forever grateful we got to spend so much time with him. He is survived by his wife Isabel of Delta, daughter Becky and Ray Lyons of Fairplay, son Scott and Debbie of Delta, son Jeff and Patti of Platte City, MO and son Alan and Rhonda of Denver, as well as 16 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren who all love and miss him so much. Two brothers, Oscar and Glen, Bruce and Linda Kerr, Don and Dorthy Burns, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 1 brother, 5 sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law and 1 grandchild, Jared. Paul always wanted to be remembered for his greatest honor and joy---his family. Paul never missed an opportunity to share how proud he was of the family he and Isabel raised. He also would have wanted us to remember him as a humble man…..and Lord it’s Hard to be Humble. We will miss you forever. There will be a celebration of Paul’s life on Sunday, September 15th at 2:00pm. The celebration will be held at the Palisade Veterans Memorial Community Center located at 120 West 8th Street, Palisade, CO. The family would like to invite you for a meal, music, and stories to share with each other in the celebration of Paul’s life. Donations can be made to HopeWest Hospice, in Paul Dillon’s name.
To send flowers to Paul's family, please visit our floral section.