Dillon Crawford Denton was 64 years old and had enjoyed an early retirement for almost three years. He was 19 days away from his 65th birthday. He had received the rank of lieutenant. He had only been with the Charlotte Road/Van Wyck Fire Department for two years and five months‚ but he served the department previously when he was a young man for about seven years.
His love for helping people was a part of who he was. Before he retired‚ he worked at a paper mill‚ where he was on the industrial fire brigade and part of a high angle rescue team. He had about 39 years of service there‚ where he was also a certified EMT. He received an award for a rescue operation that took place on March 14‚ 2000. The accident at Bowater was the worst in the plant’s history. Two workers died and four were injured.
Dillon served in the National Guard for eight years and was a noncommissioned officer.
He served as a Boy Scout leader when his two sons were growing up. He also served in the community as part of a community club/crime watch.
He served his church as a Sunday school teacher‚ deacon‚ and elder. He and his wife were teaching a young adult class at Van Wyck Presbyterian Church when he passed away. He was the pastor’s right hand man‚ the person he would call any time when things didn’t work or just needed checking.
Dillon was a wonderful family man who loved his wife of 44 years and two boys. He had five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who called him Paw Paw and loved him dearly. He was a sportsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family.
He was an artisan who hand carved beautiful walking canes‚ a good many of which he gave away to those who needed them. He was a gardener who loved growing his own vegetables and gathering them in the baskets which he wove by hand. He enjoyed life especially since retirement‚ because he had more time to help his neighbors and be a part of everything he couldn’t do before.
His philosophy in life was‚ ‘Each day is a new opportunity to start all over again.’ He didn’t dwell on yesterday or concern himself too much about tomorrow. He would say‚ ‘I wake up in a new world each day.’ He loved God‚ family‚ and country‚ serving all to the best of his ability.