Jean Kate was the daughter of the late Andrew Crawford and Nell Cook Dillon Sr., and granddaughter of Martin and Katherine Dillon of Birmingham and William and Jeanie Cook of Nauvoo. She was preceded in death by her beloved brother, Andrew Crawford Dillon Jr.; and son-in-law, Max A. May of Woodbury, Minn. She is survived by two daughters, Norma Jean May and Elizabeth Annell (Wayne) Lawrence; grandchildren, Royal Aubrey (April) Davis III, Rodney Lee (Kelly) Burkey II, Molly Ann (Josh) Norris, Katherine Lelia Montgomery, Brian Christopher (Andrea) May, Frances Hope (Aaron) Wallace, James Franklin (Julianna) Vance III, Katherine DeAnne May and Edward Zacchaeus Vance; great-grandchildren, Francesca Elyvianne Norris, Juliet Apolline Norris and Sylvie Jane Burkey; and her pet cat, Zoey “Babysing.”
Jean Katherine Dillon was born on May 18, 1925, in Birmingham. In 1950, she completed a bachelor of arts degree in business and English education at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. A secretary and bookkeeper at H.T. Fitzpatric CPA/attorney from 1948 until 1950, Dillon followed this with service as a secretary and budget technician for the Director of the Budget at HQ Air University on Maxwell Air Force Base. From 1958 to 1986, she was executive secretary/administrative assistant to the deputy chief of staff, comptroller. She retired from federal service in 1986. Dillon was the first runner-up for Federal Secretary of the Year in the Montgomery areas in 1985 and received many outstanding performance ratings and quality salary increases during her long career at HQ Air University.
A life member of Huntingdon College Alumni Association, Dillon was also a member of the American Association of University Women, the Birmingham Historical Society and the Montgomery Saint Andrew’s Society, with which she held the office of recording secretary. She was secretary of the board of Directors for the Alabama Highland Games, founding president of the Nauvoo Historical Society, a member of the Board of Directors of Walker County Arts Council and vice chair of the Tourism Task Force of the Walker County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she was treasurer and chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and vice president of the Capital City Republican Women. She was a member of the Walker County Rehab Center, the Landmarks Foundation in Montgomery, the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Parks Service. She served as a volunteer administrative assistant with the Alabama Coalition of Domestic Abuse Shelters of the Montgomery Area Family Violence Center.
She enjoyed historical preservation, preserving Scottish heritage, traveling, writing, performing and visual art. She is included in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of the World, America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and 500 Leaders of Influence. A proud Scotswoman and an avid historian, Dillon became the owner of the William Cook house in Nauvoo, her family home, in 1989. Thanks to her tireless efforts, it is now listed on the Alabama Register of Significant Homes in 1990 and was then named The William Cook House. In 1995, it was admitted into the Birmingham Industrial Heritage District. Documented by the Birmingham Historical Society, the United States Department of the Interior, the Historical American Building Survey and the Historical American Engineering Record, the house is featured in the Birmingham Historical Society’s Birmingham Bound. Dillon also commissioned the play “Amazing Grace,” written by Charlene Redick, which dramatized the Scottish settlement of the Southeastern United States through the story of the William Cook Family.
The family would like to thank the staffs of Vista Care Hospice and Crowne Nursing home for the care they provided to Dillon. Also, a very special thanks to Bernice Bailey for the tireless care and compassion she gave to Dillon over the past nine years. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer memorial contributions be made to The Family Sunshine Center, P.O. Box 5160, Montgomery, AL 36103, or the Montgomery Humane Shelter, 1150 John Overton Dr., Montgomery, AL 36110, or the Walker Area Community Foundation, P.O. Box 171, Jasper, AL 35502, in memory of Jean Katherine Dillon.
White Chapel-Greenwood Funeral Home,