Robert A. "Dan" Dillon

January 14th, 1939June 6th, 2015

Dan Dillon, of Erie, Colorado passed away June 6, 2015 in Denver, Colorado after suffering a fall. He was 76. Born January 14, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, Dan was the first child born to Robert and Charlotte Dillon. Family and friends gathered to share in a celebration of his life Monday, June 8, 2015 at Darrell Howe Chapel in Lafayette, Colorado.

Early on Dan was fascinated by science, especially electronics, a trait revealed when – at the age of 7, wishing to know how pictures got into the television – he removed the tubes from his parents’ TV and managed to get them all back into their proper sockets. To the surprise of his parents, the set actually worked again when he finished.

Dan earned his Amateur Radio Operator’s license (K6HBQ) at the age of 14. This hobby led to his early and colorful career in the entertainment industry where he worked as a disc jockey and broadcast engineer for major radio stations, first in Klamath Falls, Oregon as “Dan the Midnight Man,” then on to Seattle, Washington, later following the call to the California cities of Santa Rosa, Redding, San Diego and Los Angeles, along with a two-year engineering stint in Sydney, Australia.

While working in Broadcast, Dan organized and emceed concerts and events, and helped launch the careers of The Fleetwoods, the 1959 musical group that made pop chart history with tunes such as “Mr. Blue” and “Come Softly to Me,” among others.

Dan possessed a wry wit, often belied by wink or grin, inviting conspiracy in a shared moment of mischief. His friends were many and life-long. His acquaintances easily became his friends, and business associates came to him first and often for ideas, expertise and execution.

His gregarious personality led him to Hollywood, California where he gained entry as a Sound Engineer and Re-recording Mixer for movie and television studios. Dan employed his talents on many silver screen films including such notables as Funny Girl; Tora! Tora! Tora!; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Slap Shot; etc., and TV shows like Bewitched; The Flying Nun; Mork and Mindy; The Real McCoys, and many others.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series for NBC’s 1987 series, L.A. Law. Dan retired from the entertainment industry in the late 1980s, and moved to Porterville, California in 1999 where he managed the Dillon Diamond D Ranch until relocating to Colorado in 2012.

Dan is survived by his sister, Cherie Tippett (Rick Smith) of Erie, Colorado, and brother Brian Dillon of Reno, Nevada. He will also be missed by nephews Scott (Barbara) Tippett and Greg (Jenna) Dillon, niece Tanya Tippett (Rick Lopez), three grand-nieces and four grand-nephews, and many fond cousins and their families. Dan was preceded in death by his parents.

To honor his wishes, and following a promised Amtrak ride, Dan’s final resting place is alongside his paternal grandmother Susan Boyd Dillon at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois, near his childhood home of Riverside.

Services

To honor Dan's wishes, he will be sent by train to Illinois, where he will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.

Cemetery

None

Location

None

Church

None

Condolences

I never met Dan however, I feel as though I knew him. Through the many conversations with his brother Brian, I know what a talented and vital personality Dan has been throughout his life. Brian has recounted a number of interesting stories about his brother up to an including the last couple of years of his life. I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to his siblings Brian and Cheri as well as the rest of Dan's family. I know he will be missed.
In the early nineties when I discovered meditation and Native American teachings, one concept stuck with me. If you truly love someone and he or she needs to leave you for some reason, let them go. If necessary, even give them spoken permission to be on their way. I never met Dan but am good friends with his brother Brian who loves him dearly and speaks of him always with admiration, respect and affection. We can only guess whether Dan was in pain at the end of his life but my guess is he was—at least emotionally. I believe in an afterlife and choose to envision Dan in his favorite spot celebrating his new and exalted status. I’ll keep that picture in my head for all those who loved and will miss Dan Dillon. I’m only sorry I never got to meet such a vibrant, creative and adventurous individual.
Dan was a treasured friend of my father (Larry Chaplin) and as a small child he gave me a small picture bible and a copy of "The Red Balloon" -- both items I still have! I didn't get to see Dan but once or twice after my childhood, but I remember keen stories from my father about "Dan the Midnight Man" and his work in radio/television (Glenn Glenn Sound) and his travels to Australia. I wish I could have known him better. It's been a year since his passing, and I wanted his family to know that he is still fondly thought of and his vibrant energy is still around.
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