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Robert Donald Dillard

March 15, 1927 December 23, 2020
Robert  Donald Dillard
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Obituary for Robert Donald Dillard

Robert Dillard was born March 15, 1927, in Omaha, Nebraska. He died at age 93 on December 23, 2020, in Great Falls, Montana. After spending his youth in Omaha, he served in the U.S Navy, in the Pacific theatre, toward the end of WWII. After the war, he went on an extended motorcycle trip with two friends across the country to the Pacific Northwest, down the west coast, across the southwest, and eventually back to Omaha, working along the way whenever they ran out of money. He met Valetta Berard in Eureka California. She stopped in to visit him on her way back through Omaha and they were married not long after. Next, they moved to Missoula, Montana to be near her family, where Bob started working for the telephone company. He continued working at the telephone company for the rest of his career. He and Val had three children: Trudy, Michael, and Mark. He eventually retired to take care of Valetta as her health was failing. After Valetta died in 1989, he met Marlene Vinson while volunteering at the Missouri River Manor, where she worked. They were married soon after and had 25 wonderful years together until her death in 2015. That marriage also brought him two new sons, Bob and Jim Vinson. Bob never truly retired. While Marlene worked, Bob was often at the Manor volunteering in many capacities. He also volunteered at Christ United Methodist Church, the FISH food pantry, Meals on Wheels, and Peace Hospice. He never really recovered from the loss of Marlene. Bob enjoyed family, yard work, and fly-fishing trips with his son, Mike. He spent his last year at the Grandview at Benefis, first in assisted living, and later in the memory care unit. He died of complications from COVID-19.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wives, Valetta and Marlene; grandson, Zach Vinson; and his son, Mark. He is survived by Trudy (Earl) Terwilliger, Michael (Janet) Dillard, Bob (Lori) Vinson, Jim (Barb) Vinson, and Mark’s wife, Mary Dillard, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date, when it is safe for family and friends to gather. Interment will be at the columbarium at Christ United Methodist Church.
Memorials in Bob’s name may be made to Christ United Methodist Church in Great Falls, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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