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I am a Veteran.W. O. "CHET" DILLARD

W. O. "Chet" Dillard

W.O. "Chet" Dillard, 87, passed away on Sunday, July 30, 2017. He was born in Mantee, Mississippi, the youngest of 10 children, to G.W. and Monetha Pate Dillard on July 14, 1930. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1953. He graduated from U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School and served as a U.S. Navy pilot in Newfoundland until 1957, when he was admitted to law school at Ole Miss and continued in the Naval Reserve.

He received a LL.B., University of Mississippi in 1960 and J.D., University of Mississippi in 1968. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College, General Jurisdiction course for Judges from the University in England in 1994 and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland in 1996.

He was elected District Attorney for the Eighteenth Circuit Court District, 1964-1968. He was appointed Commissioner of Public Safety, 1972-1976 by Governor Bill Waller. In 1978, he was appointed Special Chancery Judge by Governor Cliff Finch. Appointed to Fifth Chancery Court District upon retirement of Judge Joe B. Moss by Governor Bill Allain in December 1987 and was elected in 1989 and re-elected in 1990. He served until 1995.

Chet is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Clinton since 1972, and has served on the Standing Rules Committee of the Mississippi Methodist Conference, member American Legion Post 1, Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association and has previously served as President of the Jones County Bar Association and Bar Commissioner for the Eighteenth Circuit Court District.

Married to Marilyn Mikesell of Culver, Indiana since 1955, they have three children - David, Robert and Stacy Howorth of Alexander City, Alabama and four grandchildren, Ellen Cooper Dillard, Joshua Dillard, Jacob Dillard and Katherine Graham Howorth.

He authored three books and was Chancery Judge for Hinds County from 1988 through 1994.

Since January of 1995, he has served as a Special Chancery Judge and also as a member of the Complaint Tribunal for the Supreme Court in cases brought by the State Bar against attorneys. Both positions are by appointment of the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court.

His last public legal Service was General Counsel for the State Oil and Gas Board. As an Eagle Scout, he served as Scouting Coordinator for the General Conference of United Methodist Men in Mississippi. He also served as President of the General Counsel of United Methodist Men and is founder of the Dickson Order which is an endowment fund for ministerial students in honor and memory of members of the order. The fund is administered by the United Methodist Foundation, Inc.

After retirement, he played golf, traveled and enjoyed his grandchildren.

Visitation will be Wednesday, August 2 from 5-7 pm at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Clinton and Services will be on Thursday, August 3 at 11 am with visitation one hour prior to service at First United Methodist Church, Clinton, MS.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Dickson Order at the United Methodist Foundation, P.O. Box 2415, Ridgeland, MS 39158 or the charity of your choice.


W. O. "Chet" Dillard
July 14, 1930 - July 30, 2017






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