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John W. Dillard, 92, of Dermott, AR Transitioned from this life on Thursday September 08, 2022 at McGehee-Desha Medical Center in McGehee, Arkansas.
John was born on August 1, 1930 to Willie and Ada Dillard in Monroe, Louisiana. He married Bettye J. (Jones) on March 30, 1980 in Dermott, AR.
John's early education was at Monroe Colored High and Carrol High School in Monroe, LA. John was a gifted athlete in high school and a result, he received an athletic scholarship and enrolled in AM&N College (now UAPB) in Pine Bluff, AR in 1951. While there, he made Pittsburgh Currier All-American in football his junior year and was captain of the football team his senior year. He also joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He graduated with a B.S. degree in physical education and general science. Later, he received his master’s and a Specialist degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In the winter of 1954, he enrolled in Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago, IL.
He married Maude Etta Davis in 1955. She proceeded him in death. He later met Bettye Jones while she was teaching at Portland School District, and they were married on March 30, 1980.
In 1957, he joined Portland School District as Girls and Boys Basketball Coach and Science teacher. He enjoyed a successful career in coaching and his teams to win several district and state championships. He became principal of Tillis High School and Portland High School, respectively, and subsequently became Superintendent of the Portland School District. When The Portland School District merged with The Hamburg School District in 1984, he served as an Assistant Administrator to the Superintendent, Charles Allen, and was Elementary School Principal at Hamburg and Wilmot Elementary. He also served in many other capacities while with the district. After a total of 52 years as an educator, he retired in 2011.
While John was married to Maude Etta, she introduced him to the Davis Family funeral business while he was in college, and he worked for Davis Funeral Home for 25 years starting in 1955. He and Maude Etta later established their own funeral business in Eudora, AR. Years later, the Dermott and Monticello locations were established with his current wife, Bettye. Some of his many accomplishments in the funeral profession was being named “Funeral Professional of the Year” for Arkansas in 2018 by the Funeral Directors and Morticians Association (AFD&MA), District Governor for District 6 Quad State (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, & Texas), President of AFD&MA, and a member of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association (NFD&MA).
John was a down-to-earth, humble gentleman with a personality as big as his stature. He spent many years selflessly giving his time to mentor youth and adults by encouraging education. In his community, he was a deacon at Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church and a member of the Order of Prince Hall Masons, Ziff Lodge #119 of Dermott. He was also a part-time farmer, gaining an appreciation for farming at an early age from his Uncle Jim Clomon.
He leaves to cherish his memories: his wife and business partner of 42 years, Bettye Jean Dillard; two daughters, Johnetta Dillard-Walker (Reginald) of Jonesboro, GA and Johneice Dillard-Black (Jarrod) of Dermott, AR; one son, Marvin J. Jones of Dermott, AR (they are carrying on his business legacy); six grandchildren, Nyla, Janae’, Jarrod, Jr., and Nadia Black of Dermott, AR and Todd and Erica Fleece, of Marion, IN; one sister, Earlene Chambliss of Monroe, LA; two nieces, Brenda Johnson and Mary Roberson Turner. A host of cousins, The Clomons, The Briggersons, & The Wards from Louisiana and in other states; two sisters-in-law, “Peaches” Strickland and Dorothy Mae Davis.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Willie and Ada Dillard; one son, John Willie Dillard, Jr.; two daughters, Sherrie Fleece and Joy R. Dillard and one sister, Edna Roberson-Davis.
John W. Dillard
Public Viewing Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Public Viewing: September 19th - 20th
DFH - Monticello
415 East Oakland St., Monticello, AR
September 21st - 22nd
DFH - Eudora
137 Front St., Eudora, AR
DFH - Dermott
210 N. Trotter St., Dermott
Family & Friends Visitation:
St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church
415 W. Iowa St., Dermott, AR
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Place Of Service: Dermott High School Gymnasium
Hwy 35, Dermott, AR 71638
Time & Date of Service :
1:00 PM Sunday September 25, 2022
John will be placed in state and available for public viewing on the above dates, times and locations for those wishing to pay their respects in person. He will also be available for viewing prior to his service at the Dermott High School Gymnasium starting 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM on Sunday September 25, 2022.
Dillard Life Memorial Scholarship Fund
Donate to support education, training and scholastic achievement in memory of John W. Dillard.
Dillard Life Memorial Fund
210 N. Trotter, Dermott AR 71638