John R. DillonSteel worker, inventorJohn Raymond Dillon, a...

August 01, 1994

John R. Dillon

Steel worker, inventor

John Raymond Dillon, a retired steel worker and inventor, died Tuesday of Parkinson's disease at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He was 77.

He began working in the hot strip mill at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant in 1935, and retired as a supervisor there in 1978.

Since 1946, he had made his home in the Inverness section of Dundalk, where he was an inveterate tinkerer. "He invented fiberglass pipe and a concrete mixture that used fiberglass," said his wife, the former Betty Miller, whom he married in 1941. "He had an absolutely brilliant mind."

He was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and after attending schools there moved to Baltimore. During World War II, he served in the Army's 1st Infantry Division.

Active in civic affairs, he was the first president of the Civic League of Inverness, which was founded in 1947, and during his administration helped establish a playground and a neighborhood beach.

"He enjoyed building sailboats and was largely self-taught," said his wife. "He also taught sailing at the Sparrows Point Country Club."

He worked as a volunteer shipwright along with his son on the building of the first Pride of Baltimore.

He also enjoyed playing fiddle and guitar and was fond of bluegrass music.

A memorial service for Mr. Dillon, who donated his body to the Anatomy Board of Maryland, was to be held at 1 p.m. today at Patapsco United Methodist Church, 7800 Wise Ave., Dundalk.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, John R. Dillon Jr. of Sausalito, Calif., and Jeffrey M. Dillon of Dundalk; a daughter, Clare Murphy of Alexandria, Va.; a sister, Dorothy Turkle of Youngstown; two grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

The family suggested memorial donations to the church.

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