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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Arkansas House remembers Sheriff Dillinger

Friday, February 24, 2012

Judy Dillinger holds up a resolution passed by the Arkansas House of Representatives recognizing her husband, former Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger, who died on Dec. 11, 2011. Rep. Lori Benedict, far right, who sought the honor, presented the resolution to Dillinger and her son, Michael.
When the Arkansas House of Representatives went into session on Monday, Feb. 13, one of its first actions was to honor former Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger.

The House passed Rep. Lori Benedict's motion to recognize Dillinger, who died on Dec. 11, 2011.

The resolution passed "In Memoriam," noted Dillinger's death "after a full life as one of the friendliest people in Fulton County, loved and respected by all who knew him."

The resolution added, "The House of Representatives of the 88th General Assembly of the State of Arkansas offers its condolences to the family and friends of the former Sheriff, Walter Dillinger, and joins them to remember his wonderful life."

Rep. Benedict presented a framed copy of the resolution to Dillinger's wife, Judy, and his son, Michael, during a Feb. 20 visit to Viola.

"He always seemed to get along with everyone, and always found time to listen," Benedict told Dillinger's loved ones.

The three laughed as Michael said that one man who attended Dillinger's funeral introduced himself by saying, "Your dad arrested me." Michael added even prisoners in the county jail liked Dillinger, who often presented them with Bibles during their stay.

Judy Dillinger said she continues to gets calls and visits from Viola area residents who check on her as she adjusts to life without her husband.

"Everyone has been sweet, kind and caring to me," Judy said. "Many people have really helped me out with donations to help pay funeral and medical expenses."

Dillinger served as Fulton County Sheriff for two terms, from 2006 to 2010. He died last December after a long battle with cancer.

City Park donation

During her visit to Viola, Rep. Benedict also presented a $3,000 check to Viola Mayor Jackie Estes for an improvement to the Viola City Park.

"We are going to use the funds to re-roof the concession stand building, which is really needed," Estes said. "We hope to stretch the money to also re-roof park restrooms."

The money is part of $30,500 in General Improvement Funds allocated to Benedict's district for community improvement projects.

In November, Benedict contributed $5,000 to help Fulton County senior citizen centers in Salem, Viola and Mammoth Spring. She also donated $10,000 to the Fulton County Fair Association to help pay for an addition to the main exhibit building at the fairgrounds.

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