Thomas Yasutoshi Dillon Profile Photo
1950 Thomas Yasutoshi Dillon 2023

Thomas Yasutoshi Dillon

June 26, 1950 — November 29, 2023

Artesia

Thomas Yasutoshi Dillon was born on June 26, 1950 to Tsurue Haruta and Toshio Furukawa of Fukuoka, Japan. Mr. Dillon passed away Wednesday, November 29, 2023 from complications of diabetes.

A memorial service is scheduled for 3 pm Friday, December 8, 2023 at First Methodist Church. Monty Leavell will officiate at the services. Tom moved to the United States with his mother and adoptive father in 1966. They first lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but soon moved to Clovis, New Mexico, where he graduated from Clovis High School in 1969.

Tom was an avid music student, playing both flute and piccolo, a passion nurtured by Mr. Norvil Howell at Clovis High School. Following high school Tom continued his music studies at West Texas State University (now West Texas A & M) at the undergraduate and graduate levels, receiving both a Bachelor and Master of Music Education degree under the mentorship of Dr. Gary Garner.

Following his college years, Tom began a 42 year career in Music Education. His teaching career took him to: Gallup, New Mexico; Midland, Kermit and McCamey, Texas; Carlsbad, New Mexico; Northwest ISD in Justin, Texas; and Artesia, New Mexico. Tom was a strong advocate for Music Education, but the student’s growth and development were also his passion. His measure of success was not limited to the trophies, medals and many Honor Band appearances but rather his victories were measured in student success both in school and life. Tom retired from the Artesia Public Schools in 2013. He continued teaching, consulting and creating the marching band drill designs for the Artesia Band through 2023. The “Dillon Band Alumni” family is a large one indeed, characterized by people of integrity and a strong moral compass. Tom was also active with the Southwest Symphony for many years.

His favorite way to relax was gardening, his koi pond and aquarium. He was an avid Texas Tech supporter and Texas Rangers fan. He enjoyed visiting the grandchildren and a family outing to a baseball game. He loved a good old Western movie or TV show and also enjoyed nature documentaries – especially the ones with fish!

Tom was married to Cytha Peters of Hobbs, New Mexico for sixteen years. Together they had a son Andrew Douglas Dillon.

Tom later married Lisa Nelson in 1994. They were married for twenty-nine years. Their time together was marked by teaching and leading the Artesia High School Bulldog Band, of which they were always proud, and shaping generations of young people through music.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by his father and mother-in-law Ken and Libby Nelson. Tom is survived by his wife Lisa Dillon, son Andrew Dillon, daughter-in-law Robin Dillon, and grandchildren Stella Jane Hanako Dillon, Elliott Kathryn Sakura Dillon, and Knox Andrew Yasutoshi Dillon of McKinney, Texas, and cousin Akane Tamura and her husband Tadashi of Fukuoka, Japan.

 He is also survived by sisters-in-law Deanna Cable and husband Tom and Cindy Bridges and husband Mike and their families.

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, December 8, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

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