George C. Dillon

October 29, 1922February 16, 2013

George Chaffee Dillon, a successful businessman and Harvard University graduate, died Feb. 16 in North Chatham. He was 90. He passed away peacefully at Liberty Commons Broad Reach Healthcare facility, after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. A native of Independence , Mo., Dillon began his happy association with Cape Cod through his wife, Joan Kent, who had family in the area. The couple met in Cambridge after Dillon graduated from Harvard Business School after World War ll. They were married on Sept. 11, 1948, at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, and held their reception at the Whalewalk Farm, owned by Joan’s parents. The Dillons settled in Kansas City, spending their summers on the Cape. They had three children, who survive their father – Kent of Dennis, Mass.; Courtney of Portland, Ore.; and Emily of Brewster, Mass. Joan Dillon died in 2009 at age 84. George Dillon, after serving in the Navy and rising to the rank of Lt. Commander during World War II, earned a Master’s degree in business from Harvard and soon embarked on a noteworthy career. His first job was with the J Bruening & Co. accounting firm in Kansas City. In 1949, he moved to Butler Manufacturing, where he rose from assistant secretary to secretary in three years, gaining the position of president before becoming the chairman of the board. During that period, Butler grew from $35 million in annual sales to $400 million. Butler was 40% employee-owned, so Dillon was especially proud to help build the company to a leader in its field of pre-engineered buildings and automated farm equipment. Later, Dillon was on the board of Johns Manville Corporation, which asked him to become the chairman of the board to help manage the historic “Toxic Torque” bank notice in the 1980s - a first in the business world that ensured funding for victims of working with asbestos during the war who were suffering from asbesteosis mezzo felioma. The use of Chapter 11 bankruptcy was a milestone case that is described in many business-school textbooks. The Travelers Insurance company settled the claim, and the Manville trust that was set up is still in effect today. Upon retirement, Dillon moved to the family’s summer home on Cape Cod in North Chatham, and became a board member of the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival, Eldredge Public Library, Chatham Conservation Foundation, as well as being on St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church Vestry and Finance committee. He was also a member of the Eastward Ho Country Club, where he played golf regularly. Funeral services will be held Saturday March 2, at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Chatham at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, a nonprofit establishment for helping patients and families to cope with Alzheimers: George Dillon’s brain and eyes have been donated to Massachusetts General Hospital for their ongoing Alzheimers research. Memberships: Johns Manville Board, when he also authored a paper on the role of corporate governance that was published by Midwest Research Institute, where he was Chairman of the Board and became a lifetime trustee. Board of Phelps Dodge Corporation Board of Newhall Land & Farming Company Board of E A Juffali & Bros, Auto and Truck Manufacturers President’s Committee under Ronald Reagan Board of Overseers at Harvard College and Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development Public Trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota Kansas City Symphony and Chamber Music Orchestra sponsor Kansas City Club, Kansas City Country Club, and the Kansas City River Club Eastward Ho Country Club He enjoyed golf, tennis, travel, culture, crosswords, socializing with friends and bringing his family together.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 2, 2013

George C. Dillon

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

David Fromm

March 11, 2013

I was a relatively new employee at Butler Manufacturing when George left for Johns Manville full time. He was one of those "larger than life" individuals. He was always very kind to me. His departure from Butler was a big loss for the company and for me personally. His departure from this world is an even bigger loss for the business community and the people he served so well.

Joan Douglas

March 8, 2013

I was very sorry to hear of Mr. Dillons passing. He and Mrs. Dillon were very kind people and I enjoyed getting to know them and their son Kent when they would come to the Post Office in North Chatham where I worked. I offer my sincere sympathy to the Dillon family. Joan Douglas


February 26, 2013

I am grateful for the life of Mr. Dillon. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.

February 24, 2013

To the family of George Dillon,
I am so sorry for your loss. I met George when I worked at the Chatham Village Cafe a few years ago. He was always so upbeat & very dapper in his bow tie! Whenever I would see him drive in I would get his "single skinny capp" ready, 'cause he was always in a rush! He always made a point to ask how I was doing that day. I hope your happy memories will bring you comfort. George loved his family & spoke of you all often.
Cathy York
South Chatham

The Staff of Nickerson Funeral Home

February 19, 2013

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.