Robert Dillon, a longtime educator and Nassau BOCES district superintendent, died Friday after medical complications from spinal surgery. He was 72.
Dillon is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Patricia Maureen, son Christopher and his wife Jessica, daughters Deirdre and Caitlin, grandchildren Kylie and Brendan and his brothers and sister.
His family thanked NYU Langone Hospital and its staff for their care of Dillon.
Dillon was raised in Bayside, Queens, by his parents Marie and Martin, alongside his four brothers – Matthew, Terrance, Dennis and Kevin – and sister Maureen.
He was drafted to play baseball for the Detroit Tigers out of Loyola High School in New York City but rejected the offer to pursue a career in education. He earned a doctorate in education at St. John’s University in Queens.
He was an educator for 45 years and served in a diverse array of positions. This included as superintendent of four school districts – East Meadow, Sugar Loaf, Abbott Union and Eastport. He is remembered as the “driving force” that led to the merging of Eastport and South Manor school districts, according to an obituary from the family.
He was “dedicated to fostering the next generation of school leaders” and was a mentor to many seeking an administrative certification while he taught at St. John’s University, SUNY at New Paltz, St. John Fisher University and Dowling College, the family said.
Dillon served as superintendent of Nassau BOCES since 2015 in which he oversaw a collective of 56 local school districts in Nassau County. He left a “legacy that will impact the students of Nassau County for decades,” his family said.
“Whether navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing for increased mental health student support, or innovating numerous programs, he has revitalized, transformed and enhanced educational opportunities for all students,” according to his family.
He also served on the Long Island Power Authority, SCOPE Education Services and SUNY Old Westbury’s School of Education.
Dillon had a love for golfing, camping, fishing and the New York Giants. He is remembered as a family man who ensured everyone was happy and taken care of, and as generous, kind and hardworking.
Visitation will be held from 3-8 p.m. on Tuesday at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home located at 1201 Franklin Ave. in Garden City.
Dillon’s funeral mass will be held at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday at The Cathedral of St. Agnes located at 29 Quealy Place in Rockville Centre. The interment will follow the funeral at Queen of Peace Cemetery on Jericho Turnpike in Old Westbury.
Dillon’s family has asked that individuals who wish to honor him consider donating to the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation in lieu of sending flowers.