Dillard Lee Riddlesperger, 83, died at his home on Sunday (April 28, 2019) with his family by his side, following a painful battle with cancer. He was born April 16, 1936 to Millard and Callie Riddlesperger in Harrison, Ark., moving to California at the age of one.
Dillard lived with his family at their Thornton farm during his younger years, before moving to Galt. His father was a farmer all his life. Dillard was the second of seven children, which included two brothers and four sisters. He attended Galt schools with the class of 1953.
On July 11, 1959, he married the love of his life, LaVonne Dause, with whom he had two children, Cindy and Todd; and three grandkids, Danielle, Susan and Ryan. Shortly after his marriage, Dillard was drafted into the Army in 1959 and was in Texas, then Kansas, working in an army hospital as a medic. Returning from the service, he went back to work at Palm Iron & Bridge Works where he was employed as an iron worker for 32 years. In 1987, he opened his own welding shop, R&R Welding, with the help of his son Todd in Lodi.
Dillard loved to golf with his grandson Ryan and friends. He had many holes in one at Dry Creek, Forest Lake and the Elk Horn Country Club. He belonged to many different clubs, Elk Horn, Micke Grove, Dry Creek Men’s Club, Forest Lake, Galt High Booster Club, JCs of Galt, local men’s club, and was a life member of Galt Area Historical Society and a Lodi Moose member since 1979. He also loved driving his red El Camino pickup around and going to car shows with it. In July 2019, Dillard and LaVonne would have been married 60 years.
Dillard was preceded in death by his son Todd Riddlesperger and sister Phyllis Ross.
Surviving Dillard are daughter Cindy (Gordon) Bice; brothers Wilford Riddlesperger and Kenneth Riddlesperger; sisters Irma Berreth, Janet Kenyon and Linda Arellanes; grandkids Danielle Shropshire, Susan (Andrew) Glynn, and Ryan (Jackie) Shropshire; and great granddaughter Spencer Shropshire. Among those missing Dillard will be his friends of more than 70 years, Robert Sienega and Mason Parker, and his little dog Pu Pu.
An open viewing will be held Thursday, May 2 from 1-5 p.m., at Ben Salas Funeral Home, 149 Fourth Street in Galt.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, May 3 at 11 a.m., in Galt Cemetery, 14180 Joy Drive, followed by a reception in the Seventh-day Adventist Church gym at 619 Myrtle Avenue in Galt.