Garry William Dillow, 81, of Fayetteville passed away January 30, 2024. He was born in Kinsport, Tennessee on January 13, 1943, to Raymond Bruce and Oga Leo Frank Myers Dillow.
Garry was preceded in death by his nieces, Lora Dillow and Cheryl Ladd and his parents. He was survived by his wife, Vicky Lynn Grubbs Dillow; daughter, Brigitte Sagon, and her husband Craig; grandchildren, Zoe Sagon, Lola Higgins, and Charles Anthony Poltes; stepdaughter, Amanda Higgins; son-in-law, Pete Chen; brother, Larry R. Dillow and his wife, Donna; sister, Martha Joyce Dillow; sister-in-law, Teresa Maselli; niece, Debra Ladd; nephew, Robert Dillow; great niece, Jennifer Compton Dillow; and great nephew, Zachary Dillow.
Garry attended Sullivan County Public Schools as well as Chicago Public Schools. His first job was in Chicago in 1951 as a shoe salesman. Garry enlisted in the United States Air Force at the age of 20 in the month of October 1963-October 1967. He was stationed at the base in Phalsbourg, France. Garry earned his degrees as Aircraft Electrician and Aircraft Mechanic while in the Air Force. He was a fencing champ while in the service and also learned to play the guitar while serving in the service.
After being honorably discharged he began his lifelong career with the airlines. He was originally employed with Southern Airways. They became Republic Airlines. Then Northwest Airlines and finally retiring from Delta Air Lines. He was dutifully employed as the same employee number despite all the mergers in the airline industry. He retired as a lead inspector after all his years.
Garry chose to stay home for his final days to be taken care of by his wife, Vicky, and her sister, Teresa. He continued to be cheerful and keep his humor in spite of his illness.
The 70’s was the beginning of a colorful, adventurous, and spontaneous life. My mother and I never knew where we might end up after driving all night. Garry loved a trip with a customized van, no plans, and a CB radio. He loved listening to the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd or Eddie Money. The only problem about this was that he couldn’t keep a constant speed for tapping his gas foot to the rhythm of the music.
The 80’s brought a new twist to our lives. Disco was probably Dad’s most favorite. He loved to dance but for some reason he never broke a sweat. He had all the moves and made the ladies do all the work. Larry, his favorite, and only older brother always had the best New Year’s parties. Garry enjoyed visiting with Larry every chance he could. Those two were always a funny pair together.
Garry’s love for cars was undeniable. He never discriminated, whether it was a French car, British car, or American car. He was a patient teacher while teaching his daughter to hand him tools while working on all his favorite toys. In the early 90’s he decided he wanted to start racing cars. Brigitte of course was his partner in crime and driving scavenger hunts. This was an experience to say the least. I was to drive the car with a paper bag over my head and he gave me directions to each of our stops. We actually did quite well! Garry decided to start road course racing with HSR. Another adventure I joined him in. A few years later his son-in-law decided to join us. It became a family affair with his wife and our daughter included.
After his retirement, Garry decided it was time for Vicky to start drag racing. We all knew it was just an excuse to buy more cars. It was especially easier to get parts for American cars. We all knew one car wasn’t going to be enough. He had to have multiple cars. Friday Night Drags at Atlanta Motor Speedway watching Vicky race became his new passion. An excuse to hang out with his “Thirsty Thursday” buddies.
Garry was a humble man that worked hard all his life. He was a man of his word. He was an easy spirit, and you always knew where you stood with him, even if it took a while to pull the conversation out of him. He was so proud of his Auburn graduate, Zoe. He would choke up every time he told me how proud he was of her. Lola was the other little apple of his eye. Garry was such a sweet caring grandfather. He gave us all a great life. Rest in Peace Daddy.
A small memorial service will be held at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 11:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Garry’s name to Coco’s Cupboard, www.cocoscupboardinc.org.
Courtesy of Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home.