Rev. Forrest Dilley

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CHILLICOTHE — Rev. Forrest Dilley, 86, of Chillicothe, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 9:05 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, from Valley View Care Center following an extended illness.

He was born Nov. 2, 1924, in Ironton, to the late Frank and Bridga Johnson Dilley. On March 29, 1946, he married the love of his life, the former Wanda Christine Watson, who died Oct. 18, 1989.

Surviving are sons, Rodney F. (Linda) Dilley, of Chillicothe and Michael F. (Lois) Dilley, of New Holland; grandchildren, David (Lindita) Dilley, of Chillicothe, Joshua (Denise) Dilley, of Chillicothe, Amy (Joe) Hutchison, of Ashville, Sarah (Dave) Nichols, of Washington Courthouse, Jill (Chad) Henderson, of Orient, Chad (Stephanie) Simpson, of Austin, Texas and Craig Simpson, of Columbus; and great grandchildren, Carli and Carter Hutchison, David Thomas, Calli, Abby and Reed Henderson and Christopher and Cailynn Nichols.

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Forrest attended Kitts Hill High School, joining the U.S. Army on Aug. 3, 1943 and leaving with an honorable discharge on March 10, 1946. He served with the 438th Bombardment Squadron 319th Bombardment Group in the Pacific Theater, receiving the Victory Medal American Theater, Asiatic Pacific Theater w/3 Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, Air Offensive Japan, China Offensive Ryukyus as a teletype operator and auto mechanic repairing automotive wheel vehicles.

Forrest accepted the Lord as his personal savior in his teenage years and at the age of 30 he was called to become a minister, stepping in faith moving his young family to Piedmont Bible College in Winston Salem, N.C., and never looking back, to fulfill the Lord’s calling. After completing college he had a temporary ministry for nine months at Brush Creek in Adams County. In 1961, ’62 and ’63 he served as pastor for Fairview Baptist Church in Minford. From 1964-1968, he was pastor at the Richmond Dale Baptist Church and then going to Lorain Street Baptist Church in Ironton. In the early 1970’s he served as pastor of Patton Hill Church.

Throughout his ministry he spent countless hours in visitation with the sick, shut-ins and the unsaved. He and his wife, Christine, were responsible for directing and leading of many souls to Christ. Many times his answer to problems would be Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Second to serving the Lord he had a compassion for auto body repair. He loved to repair and paint automobiles. Learning this early in life was a great asset for him to use throughout college, etc.

His faith, courage and endurance was shown tremendously in his time of ill health. Never faltering, never wavering. He enjoyed his family and was always ready to reach out a helping hand.

Grandad Dilley loved, preached, and praised Jesus Christ for decades. Today he is able to worship him in person.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday in the New Life CCCU, Richmond Dale, with Pastor Dave Stulley officiating. Burial will follow in Little Mound Cemetery where military graveside rites will be conducted by the Ross County Veterans Honor Guard. Friends may call 6-8 p.m. today at the Ware Funeral Home, Chillicothe. The family would like to thank the staff of Valley View Care Center for their specialized training and assistance through the late few months.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to New Life CCCU – Attn: Mission Fund – 601 Market St. – Richmond Dale, OH 45673 or to Valley View Care Center – Attn: Staff Fund – 3363 Ragged Ridge Road – Frankfort, OH 45628.

You may sign his online register at