OBITUARY: Kenneth Rhea Dillard


Mr. Kenneth Rhea Dillard, age 84 of Lebanon, Tennessee passed away on Monday, March 4, 2024, at his home.

Born June 26, 1939, in Wilson County, he is the son of the late William Andrew Dillard and Mary Magdalene Robinson Dillard.

Ken attended Lebanon High School, being class president of his junior class. Before graduating, he decided to join the Navy. He earned his GED in 1958 while aboard in the South Pacific. Ken was finally awarded his high school diploma and tassel at a special ceremony in 2016. While in the military, Ken was able to follow his passion of aviation, working on aircrafts. After the military, he enrolled in the Wisconsin Aviation School, being the first Southerner to ever attend that school.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother James Dillard and sister-in-law, Iris Dillard.

He started his career at Nashville Flying Service, then Big Brothers Aircraft in Nashville, then Atlanta. He continued with George Gillette Aviation in Nashville, then Vail, Colorado, Corp Management in Smyrna, Post Properties in Atlanta, Turner Enterprises in Atlanta, and retiring after a stint at the local airport in Lebanon.

He received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award for the State of Tennessee in 2013 in recognition of over fifty years of exemplary service, professionalism, devotion to aviation safety and recognition by his peers. Kenneth was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.

He married his “Sweetie” Barbara Bartz Dillard on January 3, 1959, and they raised two children: Debbie (Rusty) Waller and Kenneth Rhea Dillard Jr.; grandchildren: Jason Waller, Ricky (Kayla) Walker, Sandi Frye, Abby Dillard, and Austin Dillard; great-grandchildren: Hailey Daly, Zara Moore, Brianna O’Sullivan, Karlee Waller, Kaitlyn Waller, Jackson Waller, Kason Roberson, Kylin Baxley, Nossia Corona-Reyes, and Isaiah Frye; great-great grandchildren: Addie Moore, Jayden Moore, Oaklen Moore, and Wynter Daly; brother, Joe B. (Charlotte) Dillard; numerous nieces and nephews, including special nephew Vernon Bartz (Rocky).

Funeral service for Mr. Kenneth Rhea Dillard will be at 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at Immanuel Baptist Church with Pastor Jeff Pratt, Bro. David Calhoun, and Myron Lasater officiating. Interment with military honors will follow at Wilson County Memorial Gardens. Visitation Wednesday from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Immanuel Baptist Church. Honorary pallbearers: Men’s Sunday school class. Active pallbearers: Austin Dillard, John Dillard, Shawn Dillard, Joe Dillard, Mark Thompson, and James Bryant.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude, or the charity of your choice.

LIGON & BOBO FUNERAL HOME of Lebanon (615) 444-2142


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