By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — Lucille Dillon, the first lady of tourism in Daviess County, died Saturday. She was 76.
Dillon, who founded Dillon Amish Tours and the Daviess County Amish Quilt Auction, will be remembered as the bridge between the county¹s Amish country and the thousands of tourists who visited it throughout the years.
Samantha Bobbitt, executive director of the Daviess County Chamber of Commerce, said Dillon was “monumental in promoting Daviess County.” “Her love for the Amish community was evident with every activity she was involved in, here or abroad,” Bobbitt said.
Dillon has been known so much for her work, the county created the Lucille Dillon Tourism Award to honor those in the county who carried on Dillon’s work in promoting Daviess County. She received the Lt. Governor’s Hoosier Hospitality Award in 2007 by then-Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman for her work.
The Labor Day tradition of the auction started in 1988 has grown to bring thousands to an Amish farm north of Montgomery, then to the All Saints church in Cannelburg, and lastly to the Simon J. Graber building. Bobbitt said Monday the quilt auction has now outgrown the Graber building.
“(Dillon) told me last week it had grown so much bigger than she had ever dreamed it could be and I know she was proud of its success,” Bobbitt said.
Lydia Stoll was a friend of Dillon’s and also a quilt enthusiast. She said Dillon had “done a lot for the Amish community.” “With her tour business, she was friends to a lot of people,” Stoll said.
Stoll and Dillon shared a love of quilting, and would travel to nearby quilt shows in the spring. Several would join her from the Amish and Mennonite community.
“There will be a lot of people who will miss her,” Stoll said.
“I am proud to have known and worked with her in the last two years,” Bobbitt said. “She will be greatly missed. It will be impossible to replace her on the Visitor’s Bureau board with someone who cares more for our community.”
Her funeral is set 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Peter Catholic Church in Montgomery. Visitation is from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Simon J. Graber building and from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the church.