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November 28, 1966 ~ July 12, 2019 (age 52)
Flowers & Gifts
Mantachie - Rodney Dill of Mantachie went to join his Heavenly Father on July 12. He was born to Boyd Dill Jr and Charlene Dill of the Fawn Grove community on November 28, 1966. He was the second child born into the Dill family with an older brother Edward and later a younger sister Charlotte. There were lots of cousins on Dill road so there was always the inevitable game of tackle football or pinecone baseball. It was a simpler time where you went outside and played from sunup to sundown or until someone was bleeding or got mad and went home.
Rodney attended school at Mantachie, counting himself as one of the lucky ones, attending all of his formative years at the same school. He enjoyed playing baseball for the Reds and football for Mantachie; and in 1984, was awarded the “Good Sportsmanship Award.” The friends he made during those years in school would last a lifetime. In 1984 the class graduated 52 students, one of which was Renee Mitchell, Rodney’s high school sweetheart, who later became his wife. After graduating high school, Rodney attended Itawamba Junior College from 1984-1986.
On June 14, 1986 Rodney and Renee were married in Oak Grove United Methodist Church. After the wedding, they loaded everything they owned up in their daddies’ pick-ups and headed to Mississippi State University. The Beverly Hillbillies had nothing on those two kids. The poverty line was so far above them that it looked like the glass ceiling. The years that they spent on that campus were some of the best of their lives. They didn’t have money but they had God and each other. Mississippi State University would always hold a special place in their hearts and their family would travel all over the country to watch the bulldogs play any sport. In 1988 Rodney graduated from MSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy.
Rodney and Renee’s family grew when their niece, Kelli Griggs Wallace was born. She loved her “Unk” and he loved her. If his niece Kelli wanted something, “Unk” fully believed she should have it with no questions asked. Rodney and Renee were blessed that Kelli’s parents, Lisa and Wayne King, so willingly shared their daughter and her love. Next their family grew with the birth of their sons, TJ Dill and Preston Dill. Rodney was a wonderful father and provider, raising his sons to be good Christian men. He taught them to love God, honor their parents, to know they were only as good as their word and to know right from wrong. This past May, son Preston married Victoria Jackson, giving Rodney the daughter he always wanted. As Rodney’s battle with ALS progressed, his family was honored and blessed to be able to care for him at home.
Rodney was a member of Shiloh Methodist Church, in addition to serving on the Itawamba Food Pantry West board of directors as President and Vice President. As long as he was able, Rodney always helped with the distribution of food each month for the pantry, taking great joy in giving to others. During the time of Rodney’s illness, their church family was a major blessing.
Rodney began his professional career at Flexible Flyer in West Point. Later he would hold the position of controller at Delta International in Tupelo, and for a short period of time, he worked at Ashley Furniture. His last job was at Babcock and Wilcox in West Point. His co-workers at Babcock and Wilcox became part of his family, and as the struggles with ALS increased, they were always there to offer help. The phone calls and visits were a blessing; in addition to the installation of ramps, these friends were by his side. They will be his honorary pallbearers.
ALS is a terrible disease that destroys the muscles and takes away all movement. Rodney faced the disease and the challenges it brought each day with dignity and courage. He fought bravely for the opportunity to get to be with his family and remain at home. His family was honored and blessed to be able to take care of him. So as our hearts are so heavy this morning, we thank God that Rodney’s struggles to breathe are over and that he has a new body with our Lord and Savior. He fought a good fight.
During the battle with ALS, he had wonderful medical care. We would like to thank Jones Family Medical Center, Wesley Neurology, the ALS clinic of Memphis and the Spring Valley Hospice Group.
As was his nature, Rodney went about his daily walk quietly. He felt compelled to stop along the way to try to help others without fanfare or praise. In lieu of flowers or mementos, his family asks that you go out today and perform an act of kindness for your fellow man. That is what Rodney would have wanted and we know he will view each act from Heaven with happiness and joy.
A celebration of Rodney’s life and legacy will be at 6 PM, Monday, July 15, 2019 in the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Rev. Joe Coggin officiating. Visitation will be Monday from 4 PM to service time. Condolences to the family may be posted at hollandfuneraldirectors.com. Those who cannot attend may view the service at 6:00 PM Monday and for 60 days following at hollandfuneraldirectors.com/livestream.