John J. Dillon Jr. of Hampton Bays died on April 23 in Florida, with his family at his bedside. He was 74.
Born on June 7, 1940, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Dorothy and John Dillon Sr., both of whom predeceased him. He is also predeceased by a brother, Daniel Dillon.
Mr. Dillon graduated from Villanova University in 1962 and entered the United States Air Force as an officer, serving active duty until 1968 and in the reserves until 1982. With his wife, he had lived in Pennsylvania, Long Island and Hollywood, Florida. He began a long career in the building maintenance industry and, in 1972, he became a sole proprietor of his own corporation with business in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Florida. He was active in the thoroughbred racing industry as an owner and breeder since 1975. Most memorable was his horse “Like Now,” which won the Gotham in 2006 and ran in the 131st Preakness against “Barbaro.” Family and friends cheered on many of his beautiful horses in Saratoga, Aqueduct, Belmont, and Gulfstream racetracks.
He is survived by his wife, Catherine A. Dillon, whom he married in 1963; a son, Sean John Dillon; daughter Sharon Elefante and husband Vincent Elefante; two granddaughters, Devon Schay and Catherine Schay; a brother, William F. Dillon; a niece, Colleen Dorsey, a nephew, Daniel Dillon; an aunt, Peg O’Brien; and two step-grandchildren, Jackie and Leah Elefante, as well as friend Rachael Pottier.
A wake will be held at R.J. O’Shea Funeral Home in Hampton Bays on Thursday, April 30, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 1, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rosalie’s Church in Hampton Bays.
Memorial donations may be made to CLL Global Research Foundation, www.cllglobal.org.