Fran was born in Groton on October 6, 1936 and, until his death, resided in the house on Kemp Street his grandparents owned and where is mother and her eight siblings were born. He was the son of George F. and Helen M. Cronin Dillon.
Fran served his country on active duty in the United States Air Force and continued to serve in the Air Force Reserves until he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 26 year’s service. While stationed at Westover Air Force Base, he was Chief of the base Fire Department.
For more than forty years, he worked in the paper manufacturing industry. He began at Fitchburg Paper and Litton Industries before his career took him to Valentine Paper Company in Lockport, Louisiana. He was the company’s president when he retired from Valentine in 2001.
He leaves his wife of 53 years, Janet E. Payer Dillon; two sons and daughters-in-law, Chris S. and Kathleen Dillon of Billerica and Brian P. and Brenda Dillon of Milford; his daughter, Kerry E. Flanagan of West Groton; nine grandchildren, Kelsey Hampton, Brian Dillon Jr., John Flanagan, Cameron Dillon, Myles Maloney, Robert Flanagan, Shelby Maloney, Alice Dillon, Andrew Dillon; and a great granddaughter, Norah A. Hampton.
For many years Fran was active in local political circles, serving as a member of the Groton Finance Committee and three terms on the Groton Board of Selectmen. He enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Groton Country Club which became the Groton Pool and Golf Center. He enjoyed summers at Nubble Light in Maine with his family and his faithful 4-legged companion, J.T. He was a member of Our Lady of Grace Parish worshipping at St. James Church. He was an avid reader, enjoyed working on crossword puzzles, and seemed to be always working in his yard or in his garden.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 21st at Our Lady of Grace Parish Parish worshipping at St. James Church, St. James Avenue, West Groton. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ayer.
Calling hours are 3-7 p.m. Thursday, February 20 at the T.J. Anderson & Son Funeral Home, 25 Fitchburg Road, (Rte 2A) Ayer. Please see www.andersonfuneral.com for additional information.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Community Children’s Fund at 173 Main Street, Groton, MA 01450; Groton Community Foundation P.O. Box 515, Groton, MA 01450 (note on memo line, Blood Farm Emergency Assistance Fund) or to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.