Jerold Duane Dillavou, 89, passed Sunday, June 27, 2021 with his family around him.
He was born Aug. 23, 1931, in Jefferson, Iowa, to Max and Bessie Dillavou. He grew up in Ralston, Iowa. In 1945, they moved to Bly to join family. He graduated high school in Bly and in 1951 he joined the Air Force. In four years, he worked his way up to be the youngest ever Staff Sergeant. His career was spent working on B-36 airplanes.
He married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Hadley, on March 15, 1953. They lived in El Paso, Texas, until he was honorably discharged in 1955, and moved back to Bly. Their son, Gary was born in 1957. They lived on Gerber Ranch for 12 years where Darlene cooked for the ranch hands. Jerry worked at the lumber mill in Bly and worked his way up to superintendent.
In 1980, he and Darlene moved to Sabah, Malaysia to build and manage a saw mill for Weyerhaeuser. He and Darlene made a good life in a tiny lumber camp, Silam, in the middle of the jungle and were loved and respected by everyone. They belonged to the Anglican Church in Lahad Datu and made many friends in the community. Their Amah (maid), Violeta Limod, was like a daughter to them and on their return to the U.S., she came with them. They traveled extensively in Asia, Jerry making many trips to Japan and other countries to negotiate for equipment.
In 1986 they moved to North Bend, Wash. and Jerold worked as a plywood manager for Weyerhaeuser. In 1989 he worked at the mill in Raymond, Wash. as project manager and retired in 1995. He moved to Pendleton in 1996 to be close to family. His grandchildren were the light of his life. He and Darlene loved to take care of them and took them on many adventures. They were very involved in all their school and athletic events. They loved him as he was their Papa.
He belonged to the Masonic temple for over 50 years and was a past master. His passion was golfing and he was a member of the Echo Hills Golf Club and golfed until he was 85 with his best friend, Pat Davis. He especially enjoyed travelling to Mexico with family and friends to golf. He loved to fish and hunt deer and elk with his hunting buddies. He was a member of the Free Methodist Church. He was involved in church and community events wherever they lived, and helped anyone in need. He loved to tell stories and could entertain folks for hours and got tickled again at his own stories.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; brothers, Jack, Rex and Mike; and sister, Shirley.
He is survived by: his loving wife, Darlene of Pendleton; son, Gary (Linda) of Pendleton; grandson, Shane (Rachael) of La Grande; twin granddaughters, Katie and Nicole of Boise, Idaho; great-grandson, Kellen; many nephews and nieces (who call him their Uncle Pill and he meant the world to them) and his little poodle and constant companion, Cinder.
The family would like to thank the staff at DaVita Dialysis and Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice for their care and support.
A funeral service will be held Tuesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. at Pendleton Pioneer Chapel. A reception will follow at 1 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Outreach Food Pantry in Pendleton.
Online condolences may be sent to www.pioneerchapel.com.