Dear SWCA Member:
It is with a heavy heart that we write this note.
Our dear friend, Tony Dill, the President of the Western Peanut Growers Association and Vice President of the Southwest Council, recently passed away.
Tony was a lion in defense of American agriculture and especially for the farmers and ranchers of West Texas. He was dogged in his pursuit of good federal farm policy but always respectful, thoughtful, and prudent in his approach to securing these objectives.
It was a privilege to know Tony and to work with him.
Tony was a fervent man of God. While he usually evidenced his strong convictions simply in the manner in which he led his life, there were times when the Billy Graham in him would emerge.
We recall such a time when another dear friend, Chairman Emeritus Mike Conaway (R-TX) was feeling very low due to challenges in Washington and Tony assembled no fewer than 100 people to stand in the Agriculture Committee room and pray over Mr. Conaway whose spirits were raised high by the prayer Tony offered on his behalf.
As we mourn Tony’s passing, we celebrate his example. Tony Dill sets an example that our country desperately needs more to follow. We will miss Tony.
Please pray for his lovely bride, Tony’s children, and grandchildren who lost their husband, father, and grandfather at far too early an age.
Tony Lee Dill
Brownfield, TX- On Friday, October 23, 2020, Tony Lee Dill, loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to many passed away at the age of 60.
Tony was born on June 3, 1960 to G.W. and Sue Dill, in Terry County Texas. He was preceded in death by his father, G.W. Dill. Tony is survived by his wife Donna Dill; and his mother, Sue Dill of Brownfield. He is also survived by sister Rhonda Dill Fanous and husband Ramsey of McKinney; and three cousins raised as his siblings: James Harlan and wife Linsey with their daughters Swazyee and Jerzee of Wellman, E.C. Harlan and wife Heather with their son Tel of Wellman, and Jeremy Harlan of Stephenville, Texas. Tony is also survived by his children: Ryan Dill and wife Kristin, of Wellman; Erica Hogue and husband Tanner of Brownfield; Haylee Dill of Lubbock; Morgan Vaughan and husband Sean of Lubbock; and Calvin Day of Lubbock. Tony is also survived by his grandchildren: Brason, Braxton, Brody and Brecken Dill of Wellman; Hayden Hogue of Brownfield; and Kolbee Jordan, Maggie Ann and Mason Vaughan of Lubbock.
Tony's passions included farming, family, and spreading the gospel. For many years Tony and Donna served together in the Emmaus and Kairos ministries as well as serving their church community at Calvary Baptist Church in Brownfield. Tony believed that if one person was called to Christ as a result of his efforts, his time was well worth the effort. Tony was a generous and humble man whose acts of generosity were endless and often unknown.
Tony loved farming in Terry County alongside his son Ryan. Tony was a tireless advocate for West Texas agriculture, often speaking with lawmakers and on panels fighting for the needs of farmers. At the time of his death Tony was the president of the Western Peanut Growers Association, a role he held since 2013. He was also President of the Southwest Cotton Growers Board. Tony served on the executive committee of the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, the American Peanut Council board of directors, as a director of Tejas Peanuts in Brownfield, and on numerous other agriculture boards. Tony could rub shoulders with men in congress, articulately speaking about complex economic issues just as easily as he could teach the word of God to "men in white" through his role in prison ministries.
The light of Tony's life were his wife, children and grandchildren. Donna called him Honey and he was known as Pops to all his children and grandchildren. He poured into their lives and his face cracked into a smile at the sound of his grandchildren at the door. He was happiest during the frequent family gatherings when he played, chased, and ran endlessly with his grandchildren, with him often laughing the loudest. Tony lived loud and loved louder.
Services are pending at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your local Emmaus and Kairos Communities, KLOVE radio station and your local church. Tony believed in Kingdom work in his own backyard. The family encourages you to pour into your community and love people like Jesus does.
Local farmers gather neighbor and friend’s crop
Friday evening brought news that Terry County native and at least second generation Terry County farmer Tony Dill had lost his battle with COVID in a Lubbock hospital. This was devastating news to his family and friends, as are all these recent deaths due to COVID.
When a farmer passes, there is a sense of brotherhood that shows up quickly and that brotherhood showed up on Sunday as several area farmers brought their own harvest equipment and crews to finish harvesting Tony’s peanut crop.
With bad weather in the forecast, many of these guys likely needed to be in their own fields, harvesting their own crops. But instead, they stepped up for their brother.
While his death is a great tragedy, the light that comes from his life, is amazing. To see these guys step up to the plate and finish what Tony started, is just heartwarming.
Please continue to pray for the Dill family and for all the other families who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease that is running through our county.
And thanks to these guys who know that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
by Barbara K. Tyner
He was bound to the land
from the day of his birth
His roots anchored deep
in the fertile earth
by the soil he grew
And his life, like his furrows,
ran straight and true.
In faith, each spring,
he planted the seeds
In hope, to reap his family’s needs
With patience, he waited
for the harvest to come
To gather the fruits
of his labor home.
Ever turning seasons,
the years sped past
Till the final harvest came at last
Then claimed anew
by beloved sod
He was gathered
home to be with God.