Christian 04

Dr. Charles Dillman

March 31, 1938 ~ September 15, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


Dr. Charles Dillman of Spring Arbor was called to heaven on September 15, 2023 at 85 years of age. He was born March 31, 1938 in North Robinson, Ohio.  In 1959, he married Marie Bear and they had 63 wonderful years together. He also leaves a daughter, Angie Shaw (Pat), a son, James Dillman, and three grandsons: Jake Dillman, Zach Shaw (Emma Sutherland), and Alex Shaw. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mildred Baker Dillman and Robert Dillman and his siblings Bill Seaton (Rosemary), Mary Lou Long (Glen), Duane Dillman, and Dwight Dillman. Dr. Dillman graduated from Otterbein College and Columbia Theological Seminary. He ultimately earned a Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The family fondly remembers living in Scotland for two years where they learned to love fish and chips and explored the rich tapestry of British history: castles, lochs, palaces and cathedrals. The kids even picked up strong but adorable Scottish accents. 

Back in the States, Dr. Dillman taught at Greenville College in Illinois from 1970-74. Here he led two student trips to Israel as well as taught classes in the Philosophy and Religion department. For the next 30 years he was a Professor of Religion at Spring Arbor University in Michigan. Although he taught many classes, students especially enjoyed his Greek classes in their smaller setting. After retirement, Dr. Dillman thoroughly enjoyed seeing his students again whenever and wherever he could. Dr. Dillman published several articles and is the author of the book, “Conversations with Mark - the Man Who Wrote the Gospel of Mark. With imaginative conversations between a modern-day person and Mark, writer of the first and shortest gospel, readers learn that the life of Jesus wasn’t just that of a simple country preacher. Alongside much success and popularity, Jesus faced conspiracies, clever traps and false accusations. 

As a beloved father and grandfather, Dr. Dillman had many interests and talents. He knew something about everything and could help take apart a radiator, replace a door, wire an outlet, paint, build furniture and so much more in projects around his and his kids’ houses. If you wanted to know how to do anything, Dad was the one to call. He could navigate anywhere and enjoyed road trips out west, the east coast and to Florida for many years.  As the storyteller of his family history, he sparked a strong interest in genealogy in the next two generations. His lifelong passion for learning and teaching never waned and he was always reading and discovering new things. He was also passionate about his family’s future, with a particular fondness for his grandsons. From early childhood to their careers as young adults, Dr. Dillman always took time to learn about, emotionally invest in, and even participate in his grandsons’ passions and activities. He learned more than he ever thought he would about sports, robotics and video games, and did it all with his classic, unforgettable smile.

A lifelong educator, Dr. Dillman knew he could learn from anyone — even during a relaxing visit with his grandsons long after retiring. And just as he did as a professor, Dr. Dillman always had insightful questions, a story to share, and a joke up his sleeve, no matter the topic. Blessed with charisma, wit and a positive spirit, there were no strangers to Dr. Dillman. He believed that everyone deserved his attention, and that the world was a kinder place when people took the time to connect with each other. His ability to befriend anyone at any given time led to a blessed life of unexpected friendships, and brought light to the world in a way few could.  Above all else, Dr. Dillman’s passion in all walks of life and persistent enthusiasm for educating others left an impact on the thousands who got to know him during and after his career. He never stopped learning, growing and inspiring others, long after he retired.

The Service will be at the Arbor Church in Spring Arbor, Friday September 22, 2023. Visitation will be at 12:00 and the service will begin at 1:00. Dr. Brick Cliff, a former student of Dr. Dillman, will officiate at the service.  Burial will be in the Spring Arbor Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to Spring Arbor University.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Charles Dillman, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Dr. Charles Dillman?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Dr. Charles's memory.


September 22, 2023

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
The Arbor Church
120 E. Main Street
Spring Arbor, MI 49283

Memorial Service
September 22, 2023

1:00 PM
The Arbor Church
120 E. Main Street
Spring Arbor, MI 49283


Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main Street, Spring Arbor MI 49283
Tel: 1-517-750-6396


© 2023 Watson Funeral Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility