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John G. (Jack) Dillavou, 93, Champaign died peacefully on Oct. 4, 2018. He was a lifelong resident of the Champaign area.
Jack was preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Katherine (Kay) O’Connor Dillavou; his parents, Marcus E. Dillavou and Kathryn Rice Dillavou; brother, William E. (Bill) Dillavou and Bill’s wife, Irene. Jack is survived by his four children, John Dillavou of Laguna Niguel, Calif., Jim (Amy) Dillavou of Plano, Texas, Mary (Jeff) Collins of La Jolla, Calif., and Tom Dillavou of Champaign; seven grandchildren, Brian (Kristen), Mark (Jennifer), Travis, and Kourtney Dillavou, Anne (Read) Castleberry, and Matthew and Natalie Collins; one great-grandchild, Katherine Dillavou; and many nieces and nephews and their families.
Jack Dillavou left the University of Illinois in 1943 during his sophomore year, at the age of 18 to enlist in the Army Air Corps. In 1944 and 1945, he was stationed in Saipan and flew in 30 missions over Japan as a member of the 500th Group, 881st Squadron. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. After World War II, he enrolled and graduated from Regis College in Denver. He then returned to Champaign and joined the family business, Dillavou Brothers, which sold farm equipment, appliances and GMC Trucks. In 1954, Jack and his family relocated to Monticello, where he owned and operated Dillavou Ford Sales. In the mid-1960s, he sold his auto dealership to pursue a 42-year career in the stock brokerage business, primarily with A.G. Edwards (now Wells Fargo Advisors). For many years, he taught an investing class at Parkland College and, long after retirement, continued to receive many thanks and fond memories from his former students.
Jack’s passion was golf. Starting as a child, he spent as many hours as possible on the courses at CCC and Lincolnshire Fields, where he was a founding member. He is looking forward to rejoining his foursome, J.T., Jim and Jerry (the “Four J’s”), who played together from the time they were in grade school until they could play no more, his wife Kay and his many other golfing buddies, on a course where the greens are always perfect.
Jack had a zest for life and had a smile for everyone. He was a loving, supportive father and encouraged all to pursue their dreams. He liked meeting people and displayed genuine interest in their lives. It was close to impossible to make him mad or raise his voice. He never complained when old age and infirmities finally caught up to him. Even in his final days, if you asked, he would say he was fine.
The visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St., Champaign. Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, St. Matthews Catholic Church, 1303 Lincolnshire Drive, Champaign ,with interment immediately following at Woodlawn Cemetery, Urbana. A reception/lunch will take place at noon (location to be announced at funeral).
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, (ALZ.org), 225 North Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601-7633.