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Memorial service to honor ex-delegate Dillon

June 22, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A former state delegate and owner of the Hotel Alexander in Hagerstown will be remembered in Hancock on Saturday.

R. Samuel "Sam" Dillon Jr., 88, died in Napa Valley, Calif., on Jan. 27.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2 E. High St. in Hancock.

"He was quite a historian," said Terry Hepburn of Hancock, Dillon's nephew.

Dillon was a member of the Hancock Historical Society, the Maryland Historical Society and author of "A History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal," according to his obituary.

Dillon, who was born in Hancock in 1912 and who eventually moved to Napa Valley, served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946 in North Africa, Sicily, southern France and Okinawa, according to his obituary.

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He later joined his father and worked as general manager of Dillon Orchards, west of Hancock.

His father, Rezon Samuel Sr., founded the business in 1900.

"My father used to haul apples for him years and years ago when I was a youngster," Lou Close, former Hancock town manager, said of Dillon Jr.

Dillon attended Hancock public schools and graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 1933. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1937 and received a master's degree from the London School of Economics in 1991, said his niece, Anne Hepburn of Hancock.

"He loved and lived life to the fullest," Anne Hepburn said.

Dillon represented Washington County as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1963 to 1966, according to his obituary.

In addition to owning the Alexander House, he also owned a hotel in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Anne Hepburn said.

She said Dillon sold the hotel and moved to a retirement home in Napa Valley to be near his children.

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