Emmett Urcey Dillard, PhD, 101, died on Saturday, June 22, 2019. A native of Jackson County, N.C., he was born Aug. 12, 1917, the son of the late Vilas Napoleon “Polie” Dillard and Minnie Lee Cope Dillard. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 75 years, Della Edna Bennett Dillard, in 2015; his five brothers; and one sister.
He is survived by three sons; David G. Dillard (Hilda) of Severn, Md.; Gerald E. Dillard (Betty) of Durham, N.C.; and Clifton E. Dillard (Jacky) of Weaverville, N.C.; a daughter, Sandra D. Arscott (James) of Jacksonville, N.C.; four granddaughters; and six great-grandchildren.
Emmett attended high school and junior college at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, Rabun Gap, Ga. He received his BS from Berea College, Berea, Ky.; his MS from N.C. State College, now NCSU, Raleigh, N.C.; and his PhD from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. When he arrived at N.C. State College after the war, he and his family moved into Trailwood, a trailer camp reserved for married WWII veterans. With Della and the three older children, his was the largest family in Trailwood.
He was also voted Mayor of Trailwood while they lived there. He joined the NCSU faculty in 1947 and retired as Associate Professor Emeritus in 1979. He taught and did research in livestock improvement through breeding and management throughout his career.
He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII from May 23, 1944, until Nov. 26, 1945, as a radar operator aboard the USS Duxbury Bay in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Dr. Dillard was in Peru as a part of the contract between NCSU, the USDA and the Agency for International Development (AID), from 1957-1960 and again 1967-1968.
He was a member of the American Society of Animal Science and was elected to the honor societies Alpha Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta. He is listed in “American Men of Science” and “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.” In 1975, he received the Educator’s Award from the N.C. Beef Cattle Improvement Program and in 1980 was inducted into its Hall of Fame by the Animal Science Club at NCSU. In 1986, RGNS recognized him with the Outstanding Alumnus Award.
During his retirement he worked on family genealogy of both the Dillard family and his wife’s family, the Bennett family. Among his hobbies were bowling, stamp collecting, gardening and family genealogy. Dr. Dillard was a long-time member of Forest Hills Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C., where the family began attending when they moved to Raleigh in 1946.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Forest Hills Baptist Church. A reception will immediately follow the service at the church. Burial will follow the reception at Raleigh Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to RGNS, 339 Nacoochee Dr., Rabun Gap, GA 30568; or Forest Hills Baptist Church, 201 Dixie Tr., Raleigh, NC 27607.
Arrangements are being made by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St. Raleigh, NC; www.browwynneraleigh.com.