Joseph Ronald Dills, 79, died of metastatic prostate cancer on October 19, 2018 in Tumwater, Washington, his home of 18 years. He was born December 12, 1938 to Mini and Roy Dills in Brooklyn, New York. Shortly after that, they moved back to Jacksonville, Florida to raise their son near Mini’s family.
Joe served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Boston. He earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1967, and worked extensively in mental health, at times in leadership positions. In addition, he worked in a pain clinic, where he felt that he excelled and expanded his career experience. When moving to Olympia, Washington, in 1991, he started work as a hospice medical social worker with Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice, from which he retired in 2002. Joe was able to use his natural skills in social work, combined with his caring personality, to connect with vulnerable patients and their families in unique situations, always giving them his quiet attention.
He married Marion Minton in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 20, 1958. They were married for 17 years and had two children, Debi Wallwork and Joel Dills.
Joe married Ruth Portugal on May 27, 2000. They moved to Tumwater at that time, and Joe soon started a personal journey back to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He grew up in the Church and, in his adult years, served in several leadership roles. Gaining his temple recommendation again in later life was a meaningful and joyful part of his life journey.
While Joe and Ruth were married, he grew close to Ruth’s children, and often expressed his contentment and gratefulness in being loved and welcomed among them. Joe and Ruth made several trips to visit his family in Utah and they to this area. He greatly enjoyed getting to know and reconnecting with his children and grandchildren. This past summer, he became a proud great grandfather twice over.
He is lovingly remembered by his surviving wife, Ruth Dills; stepdaughter, Abigail Strong; stepson, David Portugal; daughter, Debbie Wallworth, son, Joel Dills; seven grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.