Death of John Dillon

by Laurel | February 27th, 2013

26 December 1903

Sudden End of Leading Business Man at His Home on Maple Street Last Evening.

John Dillon

John Dillon

John Dillon, 60, died suddenly at his home, 78 Maple Street, Holyoke, last evening, after only a few hours’ illness from complications arising from an attack of Bright’s disease. His sudden taking away has almost prostrated his family, and will be learned of with sorrow by a large circle of friends and acquaintances in Holyoke and vicinity. He was one of the leading undertakers and grocery dealers in Holyoke and had been for nearly 35 years one of its foremost business men. Of him it could be strictly said that his word was as good as his bond, and though he had served with distinction in public life, his tastes were for the home life, and he had allied himself with no fraternal orders. He had been suffering with Bright’s disease more or less for a year or so, but it was not generally known, and his death will come with a great shock to the entire business community in Holyoke.

Mr. Dillon was at his office as late as 5 yesterday afternoon, going home a short distance, about that time, and laid down at home. At 6 he was alled for supper and replied that he would be down in a few minutes. A half hour later he was discovered to be groaning in intense pain, and Drs. S. A. Mahoney and D. F. Donoghue were sent for, and also a clergyman of St. Jerome’s parish, who administered the last rites of the church, Mr. Dillon then being unconscious. The end came within an hour. It seems that he had caught a severe cold, which undoubtedly induced a bit of indigestion, which, with the disease that he suffered, brought about his death. Medical examiner Holyoke was also called, but found that death was due to natural causes.

1882  Ad, John Dillon & Sons, Undertaker

1882 Ad, John Dillon & Sons, Undertaker

John Dillon was one of the sturdy Irishmen of pluck and integrity who would have been identified with the earlier history and early making of Holyoke, and who have built up for themselves comfortable fortunes from the practice of the old-fashioned virtues of thrift and economy, coupled with good judgement and business ability. He was born in Bally Duff, County Kerry, Ireland, coming to this country when but 14 years old. He learned the trade of wheelwright from E. D. Shelley and Newton Bros. and in 1870 with his brother Thomas Dillon, started in the undertaking business which had been continued in their names until 1890, when he bought out his brother’s interest. In 1884 they added a grocery business to their other business, both now having been run for many years. He was elected alderman from Ward 4 in 1885, 1886 and 1887, and though urged to run for other offices, declines.

He married for his first wife Mary Sullivan, and for his second wife Mrs. Jeremiah Hartnett in 1889, who survives him. He also leaves one brother, Thomas, and the following children: Thomas J., the senator, John, William J. Michael, James. George, Jeremiah, all of Holyoke, Mrs. Elizabeth Cronin of Chicopee, Helen, Annie, Mary, Katharine and Grace, all also of Holyoke. Mrs. Dillon’s son, Daniel, by her first husband also lives with them. The funeral arrangements were not complete last evening.

1882 Ad, Thomas Dillon, Grocer

1882 Ad, Thomas Dillon, Grocer

27 December 1903

Anonymous remarks about John Dillon: The ways of death are strange as the ways of life. For two week out more friends and acquaintance of two well-known Holyoke citizens have been inquiring daily as to their condition, each, so it was expected, likely to die at any moment. Both these men are now better while the death of John Dillon comes unexpected to the community. There was that moral fiber to that man that made him akin to the old New Englanders in his business transactions. Blunt, often brusque at times, there was a finer sense of honor to the man that often accompanies the courtliest phrase or most obsequious address. One felt instinctively in dealing with John Dillon that here was a man. Such is the impress that he made and thus the community knew him

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