It pains me to admit it; but, apparently, I, Dr. Heath Dillard, have passed away on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at my home surrounded by my loving family. My doctors, wife and others told me it would happen one day. It was not something I wanted to experience. I assume the cause of my demise to be pancreatic cancer; however, I believe there is a possibility one too many sarcastic comments to my wife may be a possible cause. I consider one of my greatest achievements is deceiving the love of my life, Sherry Grace, into marrying me by convincing her I was a good guy. Now, as I wait for her, I will continue trying to come up with new ways to apologize for what she continues to exclaim, “You did this to me.” Together, we have six amazing unique children who to this day probably still think my goal in life was to embarrass each of them. It was not my goal, just a perk. I endeavored to be the best husband and father I could be, at least half as good as the one portrayed in my Facebook posts.
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I was born May 2, 1967 in New Mexico and was immediately labeled as the favorite child by my parents and grandparents, a label that continues to this day. I graced the presence of my two younger sisters; Beth Dillard and Deena Kilpatrick, as I convinced them they had to do every chore our parents left us to complete. It was good for them. I grew up in New Mexico and Texas. I was able to convince one of my sisters she actually belonged in a Navajo family, I didn’t know how we got her home from the hospital.
I began college at the University of Texas at San Antonio, transferring to Texas Lutheran University halfway through my sophomore year because the Organic Chemistry professor at UTSA was nuts. I attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, graduating in 1993. Our class was repeatedly reminded by all instructors that it was statistically easier to get into medical school when we were accepted than any other school. I remain thankful for that fact. I completed my medical training with an internship at the Naval Hospital-Oakland, Ca. and residency at Penn State University-Hershey Medical Center. How I ended up in the Midwest is a long, drawn out story; however, it brought me to Sherry Grace.
I am proud of my service as a Navy Physician, serving at locations in Texas, California and with Headquarters Battalion, 3d Marine Division in Okinawa. I probably had more fun than I was supposed to have in the military.
On a serious note, I am extremely proud of my life and having the opportunity to care for people and to be able to work with some of the most amazing individuals in the medical community. I am thankful for my church families at Carterville Christian Church and College Heights and its disability ministry, Thru the Roof, which has embraced our family and given Reagan so much. I’m thankful for the opportunities I enjoyed serving abroad again with mission trips to Honduras and Ivory Coast with the amazing people from Carterville Christian Church.
Again, I owe everything to my best half, Sherry Grace. She is the most amazing woman I have ever known. I want all our children, Hayden, Reagan, Savannah, Jaxon, Lincoln and McKinley, to know how proud I am of them and I love them to infinity, plus one, forever.
Out of consideration for our pets at home, I ask that in lieu of flowers being sent to the funeral home or the house, that a donation be made in my memory to the Thru the Roof Disability Ministry, in care of the mortuary.
My funeral service has been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Monday, August 3, 2020 at the Carterville Christian Church. Following the service, I will be laid to rest at Mount Hope Cemetery in Webb City, Mo.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.