Virgil A. Dilley, 99 of New London, peacefully passed away Friday, August 27, 2021, at his home, surrounded by family. A visitation will be held Wednesday from 5-7:00 pm at Johnson Funeral Home in New London and continue one hour prior to the service at the church. His funeral service will be 11:00 am Thursday, September 2, at Peace Lutheran Church in New London. Burial will follow the service at Oak Hill Cemetery in New London with full military honors.
Virgil was born on November 1st, 1921 in New London to Walter and Bessie (Berg) Dilley. He was the 6th born of 9 children. He grew up in New London and graduated from New London High School. Soon after high school, Virgil enlisted in the Army Air force. He proudly served his country in WWII from 1942-1945 in the 97th Combat Bombardment (wing) Battalion. Serving in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. He earned a Good Conduct Medal, European, African, Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, and his four battle stars. He often recounted landing on Omaha Beach on D-day and how “God must have been with me that day”. During his service, he earned the rank of Corporal. Virgil was honorably discharged in October 1945 and also served again from 1950-51 in the 6th Armored Division in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged again in August 1951. He was very proud to be a lifetime member at the New London American Legion Post #537. He was an active member and even served as the Commander for a period of time.
After returning home from WWII Virgil met the love of his life Amy (Bergum) and they united in marriage in February 1949. They had one son, Steven Dilley. They remained in New London and raised Steven while Virgil worked for the Highway Department for the State of Minnesota and retired at age 62 with a perfect driving record!
After retirement, Virgil and Amy spent their time traveling, visiting family, and spending winters in Arizona until Amy passed away in 2015. They had been married for 66yrs. Virgil’s son, Steven, moved to New London to care for his dad after his mother’s death. They spent their time traveling, eating out, and gambling until Steve unexpectedly passed away in December 2020.
Virgil was a man who took great comfort in his routines. Remaining in his home was very important to him. With the special efforts of his niece, Melissa Dilley, Virgil was honored with Veteran’s benefits and support that allowed him to remain in his home until his final day. Virgil had many caregivers that grew to love him. Those that supported him in his care are too numerous to name, but a special thanks to his great-nephew, Ben Erickson.
He had almost 100 years of stories to tell about his family and life experiences. He often talked about the time that he and Amy would spend with his siblings and their spouses. He referred to those as the “good old days”.
If you were in his company for even a short time, you would have seen his face light up as he told his stories and heard his unique laugh. He was a master jokester and an even bigger flirt. He had an excellent sense of humor and a quick wit all the way to the end. He will be sadly missed by many and if you would have told him that, he would have responded, “Oh the hell…”
Virgil is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Amy; son, Steven; brothers, Floyd, Leonard, Walter, and Dennis; and sisters, Gladys Ronning, Irene Weber, Mattie Taylor, and Marjorie Ranta.
A special thanks to all the staff at the local restaurants Virgil frequented, especially the staff New London American Legion, for reheating his food and always making him smile. Thank you to all the nurses and staff at Lake Region Home Health Care, the St. Cloud VA, and the staff at Moments Hospice for supporting Virgil and his family in his final moments.
To send flowers to Virgil's family, please visit our floral store.