Don Lee Dilts passed away peacefully in his home on January 14, 2020 surrounded by his loving family after enduring the hardship of Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 86 years old. Don is survived by his wife of 65 years Glenna Stotts Dilts, his children Joe Dilts (Judy) of Milford, Ohio, Karen Grimm (Andrew) of Fleming Island, Florida, Twins Christi Nordman (Eric) of Westerville, Ohio and Conni Berkfield (Eric) of Zanesville, Ohio; his nine grandchildren; Jordon, Katie, Cameron, Ellen, Livia, Luke, Alex, Meghan and Michael; and 3 great-grandchildren; Grayson, George and Penelope, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by granddaughter Sayra Sims and great-grandson Ashton Grimm, and his sister Joy Charlene Stotts of Zanesville. Don was born on October 23, 1933 in Nashport, Ohio in his grandmother’s home to Virgil Lee and Beulah Eloise Perry Dilts. He graduated from Lash High School in 1951. Don enlisted in the United States Navy in 1952 and served four years active duty during the Korean War on board the USS Amphion (AR-13), and served six additional years in the Naval Reserve. At age 27, he ran for public office for the first time and became the youngest County Auditor in the State of Ohio, and was re-elected twice. He then held the position of Vice-President of First National Bank in Zanesville, after which he re-entered public life and was elected to the seat of Muskingum County Commissioner for three terms. Don was always an entrepreneur by nature and owned multiple businesses over the years, starting his last one at the age of 82. He took great pride in Muskingum County, the community he called home his entire life. He believed in doing what he could to better his community and was a true servant in many ways. Don served on the boards of many local organizations over his long career and chaired many committees that served a variety of needs in Muskingum County. He was also an active member of the Meadow Farm Methodist Church where he held the position of Historian until his health started to decline. He truly enjoyed gathering history from multiple sources and preserving records, minutes, precedures, and other documents for posterity. He was recently honored with the title of Historian Emeritus. Because of his love for the Lord, Don was very active for many years raising funds to support foreign missions. His children will always remember him as a loving, hard working, driven, brilliant man and a dedicated father who always encouraged them to reach high and pursue their goals. His presence brought out the best in everyone around him. He loved to tell humorous stories of days gone by. He is described by many as honorable, hardworking, respected and of utmost integrity. He was a loving and godly husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. In his spare time, Don was an accomplished fisherman and hunter. He loved spending time in the outdoors and his hobbies included carpentry projects, taking his fishing boat out for a day on the lake to come home with dinner of fresh catch crappie or heading to the hills to hunt- especially turkeys in the spring and fall and deer in the winter. He spent many summers in Canada catching walleye and northern pike where his family joined him to create the best memories, and he spent many winters staying warm in Florida. He enjoyed many journeys throughout the United States and Canada. At Don’s request, a caring cremation has taken place and there will be no calling hours. The family will always be grateful for the support and dedication of Hospice of Central Ohio who helped Don navigate his final journey in life. Their professionalism and dedicated support will never by forgotten. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Hospice of Central Ohio can be made in honor of his memory.
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