Courtland B. Dill

INDUSTRY – On April 1, 2019, about 6 a.m., Courtland “Courty” Bennett Dill quietly slipped away into his Savior’s arms, at his home in Industry, where Elsie lovingly cared for her “hero” and his passing has forever changed her world. Eighteen months ago, Courty was diagnosed with rare ocular melanoma; and it unfortunately metastasized to his liver, which was diagnosed last December, resulting in his passing. All those who were blessed to have known Courty, realize that we have lost a giant of a man, who never knew that he was a giant among men.Courty was born on May 31, 1941, in Farmington, to the proud parents, Glendon and Lillian (Bennett) Dill of Phillips. He graduated from Phillips High School in the class of 1959. He will be remembered as one of the few who was fortunate to drive a car to high school. It was a tan colored 1955 Ford, as reminisced by Paul Gardiner. Later, his 1960 blue Chevrolet convertible, along with his cowboy hat and boots were symbolic of Courty. He went on to attend the University of Maine at Augusta and graduated with an associate degree in accounting. Ironically, he graduated from UMA, the same year that his son, Ricky graduated from Daniel Webster Aviation College; but, attended his son’s graduation rather than his own, scheduled on the same day.On May 18, 1979, Courty married and devoted the rest of his life to his loving wife, Elsie Bowie Crowley Dill. They had met while working together at J.L. Coombs shoe shop in Phillips and were married five years later. He enjoyed parenting Elsie’s four children from a previous marriage, and proudly adopted the youngest son, Richard “Ricky” Dill.Courty fondly related stories of working while a youngster in his father’s woolen mill, washing and carding the wool along with various other tasks. His first job out of high school was at Forster Manufacturing Co. in Strong. Then, for over 20 years, he worked at J.L. Coombs shoe shop in Phillips, owned by Jack Harvey and managed by Dick Stanchfield, a dearly beloved lifelong friend. Courty was a hand sewing foreman and worked in various other capacities. Courty and Elsie worked at G.H. Bass for several years prior to its closing. They also owned and operated the Elcourt Bed and Breakfast on Pleasant Street in Phillips for over 14 years, making many lifelong friends; some of whom they have visited through the years. Courty also proudly worked for over 20 years as a rural carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Farmington and the surrounding towns, retiring in 2015, at the age of 74 1/2. Although delivering the mail in rural Maine can be challenging, he loved the job, his customers, and fellow workers.Courty was an active community member where he was; member of the Demolay, past Worshipful Master of Blue Mountain Lodge #67, A.F and A.M., member of the Phillips Odd Fellow Lodge, president of the Phillips Chamber of Commerce (the year the town burned), a charter member of the North Franklin Snowmobile Club, and president of the Calden Reunion. He was a lifetime member of the Phillips Congregational Church where he served on various committees, as well as a trustee, deacon and conference member. He was a proud Boy Scout and at the early age of 14, became the first Eagle Scout in Phillips, earning the curved bar. While serving as assistant scout master to Don Bachelder, his son Ricky also became an Eagle Scout. Courty helped many other boys in town to also earn the prestigious Eagle Scout badge.While a teenager, Courty followed in his father’s footsteps and began flying lessons at Twitchell’s Airport in Auburn. By the age of 19, Courty, along with his best friend, Melvin Webber purchased their first plane, a 1946 Piper J3 Cub for $1,000. Glen Dill was a charter member of the Mt. Blue Flying Club in the early 1940s located at Cy Gould’s Airfield in Avon, which disbanded several years later. In 1974, Courty, along with Harley Sargent, Corydon Hardy, Shorty Childs, Leon Ross, Cy Gould, Bob Campbell, and Don Savage were the charter members of the Sandy River Flying Club (also located at Cy Gould’s Airfield in Avon), which is the longest continuously existing flying club in Maine. Since it’s inception, it has had many members and continues to flourish. In the 80s and 90s, Courty’s son, Ricky, followed in his dad’s and granddad’s flying tradition. Courty often reminisced about his legendary flying experience to Wichita, Kan. with Cy Gould to pick up a Cessna 140 which Cy had purchased. Unbeknown to Courty, Cy planned for Courty to fly the plane back to Maine. Being mild mannered and even tempered, Courty accepted the challenge. This was the story of a lifetime and was to be told and re-told over the years.Courty was an outdoors person, an avid hunter and fisherman, and tagged along with his dad, trapping small animals for their fur pelts. He became a truly experience hunter and fisherman, enjoying the art of fly fishing. His favorite fishing spot was at Long Cove, where he and his father had built a log cabin. Courty enjoyed building log cabins and assisted some of his friends with their cabins. Courty enjoyed hiking when he was a youngster and throughout life. He and good friends, Mike and David Field, spent a week clearing trails on Bigelow Mountain. Through the years, Courty and Elsie enjoyed many hiking trips with their family and friends. They were blessed to travel to Ireland, Scotland, Hawaii, Maui, and many places in Maine, including hiking and camping trips to Katadin with good friends, Steve and Martha Fenno, and family members. They traveled all around Maine and across the country with a focus on scenery and history. This last summer, Courty and Elsie went on an epic trip with their son, Steve and his wife, spending over 5 weeks exploring National Parks, including the magnificent Yellowstone. They followed the gold rush trails through the Yukon to Alaska. Gold panning along the way, conjured up memories of gold panning with his dad as a child. There were many happy hours traveling and playing cards with Elsie’s siblings and their spouses, and other dear friends. Courty’s brothers-in-law, Bob Batchelder and Ed Bachtel shared a brotherly love relationship that meant a great deal to all of them. They had many interesting boating adventures. Courty’s two beloved dogs, Dillon and John Doe, brought him great joy.In his early years, Courty tap danced with his sister, participating in recitals and entertaining the surrounding towns. He also was a star athlete, playing baseball and basketball, being on the winning team of the North Franklin basketball tournament. One of his favorite pastimes was watching sports of all kinds, with a special love for the Boston Red Sox. His grandson, Troy, from Florida, spent many summers visiting his Grampa and Grammie Dill watching the beloved Red Sox games.Courty was a quiet achiever in everything he attempted, he never bolstered or was vain. Without trying, he set the standard for achievements and behaviors for his peers. Ever diligent, honest, and with unquestionable integrity, remained his virtuous traits throughout his adult life. He earned the respect and admiration from all who were fortunate to have known him.Courty is survived by; his wife, Elsie Dill of Industry; four children, Ricky Dill and wife, Dora (Beedy) of Phillips, Kathleen Crowley Davenport and husband, Gordon Jr. of Strong, Jamie Crowley and wife, Marie (Kahkonen) of Weld, Steve Crowley and wife, Sherry (Smith) of Inverness, Fla.; thirteen grandchildren, Gordon Davenport III (Leigh), Bill Davenport (Danae), Abbie Davenport Shamp (Ian), Eric Crowley (Justine), Michelle Crowley, Robert Kahkonen (Cathy), Beth Bourassa (Joe), Jen Flanders (Josh), Flo Maddocks (Mike), Troy Crowley, Courtney Starkey, Senna Reid, and Celeste Reid; eighteen great-grandchildren; sister, Glendalyn Dill Leavitt and husband, Raymond of Las Vegas, Nev.; niece, Sonja Leavitt Hillman (Derek), nephew, Eric Leavitt (Roxanne); several great-nieces and nephews; two special cousins, Dana Dill of New Sharon and Maxine Voter of Strong; several great-cousins; many friends and neighbors who will always admire and respect this quiet man with a memorable dry humor, Courtland Dill. He was predeceased by his parents, Glendon and Lillian Dill; and nephew, Keith Leavitt. A celebration of life and masonic service will be held on Saturday, June 15, at 11 a.m., at the Lindbergh Airport in Avon, followed by a reception at the Avon Town Hall, 1116 Rangeley Road in Avon. Rev. Susan Tierney and Blue Mountain Lodge #67 will officiate. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Rd., Farmington. Donations in Courty’s memory may be made to either the Sandy River Flying Club, c/o Allan Haggan, 235 Toothaker Pond Rd., Phillips, ME 04966,or to the Phillips Congregational Church,

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