Paul is pictured above with Frank Skinner at the annual Old Timers Dinner
There is hardly one word or sentiment that can capture the essence PAUL L. DILLINGHAM, JR.. He was deeply spiritual, and wise; he was romantic and loving; and he was encouraging and upbeat. "He was just the best of so many things," said Doris Stockman, a daughter who lives in Cumming.
Paul was a dedicated Rotarian. He joined our club in May 1978.
Barbara Rosson Dillingham's voice took on a girlish quality when she talked about meeting the man she would eventually marry. They were in the same graduating class at the University of Kentucky and they dated during their senior year, but went their separate ways after graduating in 1950.
"We said our goodbyes and I went back to D.C. and he had a job in Kentucky," she said, matter-of-factly. "But on the 4th of July, I got a telegram from him and it said, 'Keep the coffee hot, I'm coming,' and we got pinned that weekend and got married the following April."
The couple eventually had three daughters, and enjoyed more than 61 years of marriage.
Paul died Sunday, July 15, at St. Joseph's Hospital from complications of a post-surgical infection. He was 84. His body has been cremated and a memorial service is planned for 2 p.m., July 27 at Peachtree Presbyterian Church.
A native of Madisonville, Kentucky, Paul enlisted in the Army after he graduated from high school. Following his military service, and after college graduation, he worked for the Kentucky Department of Revenue. Paul shared with his wife a thought of living in Atlanta and working for a company like Coca-Cola, but he never applied for a job there. But, by divine chance, Paul got a job in Atlanta in 1957, with another company, and Coke came calling when there was an opening in the tax department, she said.
"God has always been at work in our lives," Barbara said.
Paul worked at Coke for 27 years, his family said. During his time with the company, he served as the assistant treasurer, vice-president and director of taxes. His position with Coke also gave him access to several local and national organizations, which he stayed connected to after his retirement from the company in 1984. The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta was one of those organizations. He started working with them in 1975 and continued to participate with the local advisory board, until recently. In 2006, he had the distinction of being named a life member of the local advisory board, said friend Phil Leonard.
"He was a trusted friend of The Salvation Army," said Phil Leonard, who is the organization's major gifts manager. "Paul could always offer wisdom in just about every situation. He was such a great encourager."
“Dad was the master of positive thinking”, his daughter Doris said.
"When my sisters and I would get flustered, or when any of the children got upset, he'd immediately look for the good in the situation and say something like, 'Hang in there, all is not lost,'" she said. "He was so reassuring, always."
Paul is survived by his wife, daughters, Debbie Mahoney of Alpharetta and Doris Stockman of Cumming; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.