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Dillon, Joseph Daniel

dillon1March 2, 2021

Joseph Daniel Dillon, (92), of Vista, California, passed away March 2, 2021. Joe was born to Florence M. Detzel and Stephen V. Dillon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 8, 1928.  He was a member of Christ the King Parish and attended Marquette school in Tulsa for 12 years.  He was a super athlete in high school, exceling in basketball, baseball, and football.

Joe attended St. Benedict College in Atchison, Kansas. He entered the seminary in 1948 and studied at Cardinal Glennon College in St. Louis, Missouri, and at St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas where he earned a bachelor degree in Liberal Arts.  He was sent to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, where he earned a graduate degree in theology, and was ordained a priest, July 19, 1953.

His first assignment as a priest was St. Francis Parish, Stillwater, Oklahoma where he also served as Newman Chaplain at Oklahoma A&M.  He was named Vice Rector of St. Francis Seminary in Oklahoma City, in 1958, and in 1960 was also appointed director of the Association for Christian Development, an organization of women volunteers. In 1961 he became Diocesan Director of Religious Education and studied for a year at Lumen Vitae, a religious education center in Brussels, Belgium. He served as the first Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa from 1962 to 1969 during the exciting years of the Second Vatican Council.  In 1969, he became Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Oklahoma City. 

Joe decided to leave the active ministry in 1971 and shortly thereafter married Carole A. Molyneaux, a former Catholic nun. 

After working in Washington, DC, and Indianapolis, Joe and Carole settled in Vista, California, where their son David was born in 1974.  Carole and Joe both obtained PhDs in Psychology and were licensed as marriage and family therapists.  They served in this profession both in Vista and in Davenport, Iowa for 30 years.  Joe was a long-time member of the Virginia Satir Global Network with the mission to further the creation of healthy and just relationships. He served two terms on the Board of Directors and was a trainer for four summers in Crested Butte, Colorado.  The Satir Global Network named Joe a Living Treasure in the year 2000.              (Continued on the flip-side)

Joe is survived by his son David, daughter-in-law Lindsay Witmer Dillon, two granddaughters Brooklyn and Molly, niece Stephani Franklin and husband Keith, niece Melanie Seaman, and grand-niece Taylor, husband Connor Wann, and great-grand nephew Oliver.

A Vigil Service will be at 7pm PDT Friday, May 7th, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Oceanside, CA. 

A Funeral Mass will be at 11am PDT on Saturday, May 8th also at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.  The funeral mass (5/8/2021) was live streamed and recorded and the link is here: