Lloyd Marion Dilday
1922- 2010

Published 10:09 pm Thursday, February 11, 2010

By Staff
Lloyd Marion Dilday, 88, passed from this life on February 9, 2010 at his Water Street home in Belhaven. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 12, at 11 a.m. at the Wilkinson Center. Visitation will be Thursday, February 11 from 6-8 p.m., also at the Wilkinson Center. Private entombment will be held later at the Belhaven Community Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Dick Tunnell, Rickey Keech, Jimmy Latham, David Burbage, Frank Spilker, Henry Riddick, Perry Williams, and Frank Billups.
Mr. Dilday was known as “Daddy” to his five daughters, “Pop” to his ten grandchildren, “Boss Man” to his dedicated employees at Circle Grove Seeds, and “Mr. D.” to his devoted caregivers. He enjoyed a rewarding life, especially prior to the death of his wife of 58 years, Jane Latham Dilday, who died on October 1, 2005. In the last several years, his body failed him, but his mind remained sharp and strong.
Mr. Dilday was raised near Ahoskie in the Hickory Chapel community. He was the son of the late Lloyd and Eva Dilday and the brother to sisters Thelma and Mary Lou Dilday who survive. He graduated from NC State University with a degree in Agronomy. Following graduation, he worked with the NC Department of Agriculture. That job brought him to Belhaven where he inspected potatoes and poultry that came into the depot by train. (Anyone that knew him very well knew that he never ate poultry!) During this time he met and courted Jane Latham, a Belhaven native.
In 1947, after serving in the US Army at Fort Lee, VA., he returned to Belhaven and married Jane. Together they raised five daughters, who survive: Donna Shealy and husband Jerry of Charleston, SC; Susan D. Smith and husband Harold of Belhaven; Ellen D. Allen and husband Walt of Belhaven; Lynn D. Ross and husband Buddy of Bath; and Marian D. Keech and friend John Oliver of Belhaven.
“Pop” had a profound influence on his grandchildren as he stressed and supported the importance of education in each of their lives. His ten grandchildren are Matthew and Anna Crowder, Ashley S. Johnson and Brittany Smith, Donna H. Martin and Josh Allen, Jenny R. Modlin, Sara J. Ross, Emily R. Chancellor and Maggie R. Potter. Also, four great-grandchildren survive: Bode and Aria Johnson, and Christopher and Camdon Martin.
Mr. Dilday was a life-long supporter of agriculture in North Carolina. After his marriage to Jane, he began farming and vigorously pursued improvements and the development of new farm enterprises. His seed processing plant, Circle Grove Seeds, was started in the late 60’s, and grew to be one of the best-known operations in the southeast. These endeavors led to numerous awards including Jaycees Outstanding Farmer Award, NC State University Distinguished Alumni Award and the Governor’s Award for Supply to Agribusiness.
In his earlier years, Mr. Dilday was also active in many area of public life, having served long terms on boards such as Pungo District Hospital and Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.
Mr. Dilday had a special fondness for quality seed and the possibilities that lie therein, clearing new ground and seeing it put into cultivation, his home at Circle Grove Farm, his girls, and the many friends he made through business and travel.
Memorial donations should be addressed to Pungo District Hospital Foundation, 202 Water Street, Belhaven; the Wilkinson Center, P.O. Box 38, Belhaven; or NC Seedsmen’s Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 7645, Raleigh, NC 27695-7645.
You may address condolences to the family by visiting www.paulfuneralhome.com.
Paul Funeral Home of Belhaven is honored to be serving the Dilday Family.
Paid Obituary