About the fund
Established by the Montrose Lions Club in memory of the late Montrose attorney Martin Dillon to provide a college scholarship to a deserving student from Mr. Dillon’s alma mater of Montrose Area High School.
Mid-February - Late March
From the Donor:
Martin Dillon Memorial
The Lions Club of Montrose has established a scholarship fund in memory of the late Montrose attorney Martin T. Dillon. The fund will provide a scholarship to a deserving graduate of Mr. Dillon’s alma mater, Montrose Area High School. The scholarship award for 2012 is $2500.
Marty Dillon was just 30 years old at the time of his untimely death on June 2, 1976. He was a promising young lawyer, son of the Montrose mayor, married, and the father of two children ages 5 and 2.
Mr. Dillon had spent his senior year of high school as a Rotary Exchange Student in Schleswig, Germany. He obtained his undergraduate degree (1968) and law degree (1971) from Villanova University. During his high school years, he enjoyed both sports and music. He had sung in the Concert Choir and Boys’ Octet, and played the trombone in the Senior Band. While at Villanova, he was a member of the Villanova Singers and select singing group known as “The Spires.”
He was admitted to the Bar Association of Susquehanna County in November, 1971, where he earned a respected place in the community and the profession. In March of 1977 his fellow attorneys paid tribute to the late Mr. Dillon by entering a Resolution into the permanent record of the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County. In part, the Resolution reads, “He was most highly respected and valued by his associates and colleagues and members of the Bar Association as a friend and companion for his ability, enthusiasm, good humor and sensitivity… He served as a lawyer with a thoroughness of professionalism, integrity, and ability whereby our association with him enriched us.”
Martin was described as being civic minded, and at the time of his death had just completed his term as president of the Lions Club of Montrose. The Lions members recall that Marty was very instrumental in forming the KLR, which combined the efforts of the three service clubs, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary. This organization then took over the task of spearheading the annual 4th of July Celebration in Montrose. Prior to 1976 this function had been organized by the Montrose Recreation Committee.
It is the intention of the Lions Club members that this scholarship fund awarded in Mr. Dillon’s name will stand as an enduring memorial to a man “who thought the best of people.”
July 2nd, 1976, the day that changed the lives of the Dillon family forever. It’s been 45 years since my only sibling, Marty, died suddenly at the age of 30. I want to honor him on this day by sharing some thoughts about his life and how he lived it, not about how he died.
Marty and I grew up as typical siblings. I was two years younger, and I’m pretty sure I thought he would be in my life forever as a friend and confidante. He participated in many high school activities, Marching Band, Concert Choir, Underwater Rescue Team (young scuba divers affiliated with the Montrose Minute Men).
He was able to serve as a Rotary Exchange Student to Germany during his senior year of high school, 1963-64. At my dad’s insistence, he was back in Montrose to walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma. That was one of the terms of agreement when my parents allowed their 17-year-old son to embark on this unprecedented trip via ship to and from Germany. He also faithfully wrote a letter weekly to Mom and Dad. Of course, this was on paper-thin airmail paper in the smallest writing you can imagine. My mom finally convinced him to stop writing on both sides! I can only imagine all the adventures he experienced in Europe while living in a boys’ boarding school at the edge of the North Sea. I know a highlight was a trip to Denmark, and his trip of a lifetime to Berlin.
After high school, Marty graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in English, followed by a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1971. What a proud day for his family!
As a young husband and father of a newborn son, he was anxious to return to his roots in Susquehanna County and his hometown of Montrose. After living in Philadelphia for seven years while attending college and law school, he relished the opportunity of embracing small town life and the ability to give back to the community he loved. In 1973 he became the dad of a daughter and what a happy, proud father he was.
Professionally, Marty was highly respected by his peers. To this day, I hear stories from many of his former clients telling me of his friendly demeanor and sincere interest in helping them and their families achieve their goals. After his death, the Susquehanna County Bar Association paid a special tribute to him.
Marty served as president of the Montrose Lions Club, and was one of the original founders of the KLR (collaborative group of Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary members) that launched the 4th of July Celebration on the Green in Montrose.
My brother loved his family, his church (Holy Name of Mary), and his friends more than anyone will ever know.
My thoughts now, as a mother and grandmother, are leaning toward watching siblings, young and old, and their interactions with each other. I can only advise kindness and enjoying everyday that families do have together. We really never know how much time we have together. Thank you for taking the time to read and share in my memories and I hope you enjoy the pictures.