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Forum Home > Awards and Recognition > Steve Dillard has passed

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Chuck Miller at March 17, 2015 at 1:49 PM

Thanks for the reply Brad.  It's nice to see you on here.  It's certainly been awhile.  I remember you went with us to several tournaments and I think he did mention you were doing well in chess when I spoke with Steve.  Even now I'm seeing him in the media and still can't believe what's happened.  It's unbelievable. 


Hi Chuck thank you for the nice comments as well. I know what you mean seeing him

on T.V. seems like a bad dream.  I just don't see how anyone could do that to such a

kind and generous man, it just baffles me. I hope to see you out at tournaments sometime

I'm going to play in the near future, hope you and your daughter do as well.  Take care

March 17, 2015 at 6:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Hi Dennis those are some nice stories and nice comments. You are so right, Steve was

too good to be true and i have some memories along the same lines as you. Time

wen t by so fast going to and from tournaments because of all the great conversations

we all had with him. I just can't believe i'll never talk to him again, it's so sad.

March 17, 2015 at 6:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ryan Velez
Member
Posts: 54

One of my favorite memories of Steve was when he couldn't get a large crowd's attention because he was so softly spoken. Of course the microphone wasn't working. He kept saying "Attention!!" but even two exclaimation marks is a bit generous for his soft tone.

My friend's dad yelled "QUIEEEEEET!!!!" for Steve. Steve slowly looked over, dropping his head slightly, and said "Thank you."

I have so many memories.

March 17, 2015 at 6:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Ryan Velez at March 17, 2015 at 6:58 PM

One of my favorite memories of Steve was when he couldn't get a large crowd's attention because he was so softly spoken. Of course the microphone wasn't working. He kept saying "Attention!!" but even two exclaimation marks is a bit generous for his soft tone.

My friend's dad yelled "QUIEEEEEET!!!!" for Steve. Steve slowly looked over, dropping his head slightly, and said "Thank you."

I have so many memories.

Nice story Ryan, I would have loved to have been there for that.

I too have so many memories, most from long ago as i haven't played much 

in the last 10 years but i  stayed in  touch as he was a really great to talk to,

when you needed a boost or just wanted to talk I'll miss all of our talks about sports,

and UK and UL basketball mostly.  Another story was how several Shawnee high chess

players and I let steve know we found out his middle name. Steve was driving and we kept saying

Park her over here Park her over there etc etc etc. With his middle name being Parker.

Rest in peace Steve as you have awakened up a lot of old friends who think so much of you

March 17, 2015 at 9:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ryan Velez
Member
Posts: 54

You and I have only played one game if I recall. You won it with a tricky mate using a bishop on c3 and a rook on g8 with my king on a1 and pawn on a2. Do you remember?!


March 17, 2015 at 9:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Ryan Velez at March 17, 2015 at 9:34 PM

You and I have only played one game if I recall. You won it with a tricky mate using a bishop on c3 and a rook on g8 with my king on a1 and pawn on a2. Do you remember?!


Hi Ryan yeah i remember it was the ky. closed in 2006 i believe.

That was a tough game you had a much better tournament and i just happened to

come out on top, you are a strong player. 

March 17, 2015 at 10:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Guffey
Member
Posts: 1

can someone please post the link of the obit, i cant find it, and somehow cant find it on the obits EITHER...thanks

March 18, 2015 at 2:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Johnny Owens
Member
Posts: 2


This is the obituary from the Courier-Journal:

DILLARD, STEPHEN P.,

Steve leaves behind a legacy of love and hope. He touched thousands of lives through his camp counseling, teaching, basketball coaching, and chess affiliations and through his devotion to his foster children. Steve is preceded in death by his parents, Badgett and Polly Dillard. He is survived by his sister, Aynn Dillard, his nephew, Kendall Dillard, and by Philippe Thierry Moune Ngoue who was like a son to Steve.

Steve was a native Louisvillian. He was a member of Walnut Street Baptist Church and graduated from Atherton High School and Berea College. After graduation Steve returned to Louisville and began his teaching career at Christian Academy of Louisville. After many years in the private school sector, he moved to Jefferson County Public Schools, receiving his Masters from Spalding University. Steve opened his home and his heart to several exchange students from homelands ranging from Norway to Africa. He enjoyed the opportunity to learn firsthand about the various cultures. Steve traveled extensively throughout the United States and had only three remaining states to visit.

Through his teaching Steve saw a great need among his students and his heart answered the need. Steve fostered several boys over the years and mentored and oversaw the education of many others. When he saw a child in need, he opened his home and his heart to them. We are honored by the outpouring of love from his friends and students, both current and past. Steve would be amazed by the sheer number of lives that he touched.

The family asks that you honor the memory of Steve by committing random acts of kindness and that expressions of sympathy be made as donations to Plymouth Community Renewal Center and the West End School.

Visitation will be Friday, March 20, 2015 from Pearson's, 149 Breckenridge Lane, 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. The family invites the children who come to visitation to bring a small token, if they would like, for Steve to take with him. Funeral services will be Saturday, March 21, 2015 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Alumni Memorial Chapel, 2825 Lexington Road at 10:30 a.m. with burial in Cave Hill Cemetery to follow. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=stephen-p-dillard&pid=174427909&fhid=4753#sthash.aXX4pQwh.dpuf

March 18, 2015 at 3:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dennis Gogel
Member
Posts: 5

My favorite Steve story, as told to me by Steve himself. Remember the movie Alien? After the creature had emerged they were searching for it in the lab. All was quiet until a beaker was knocked over, the loudness being quite startling.  Well, if you'd ever seen Steve startled, self-control does not come to mind. I was expecting him to tell me he spilled his popcorn or something. But no, both hands flew into the air and he dumped his coke on the person in front of him! Can't quite recall how he got out of that one :)

March 19, 2015 at 6:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Sparky
Member
Posts: 2

Hey everybody – thought you might like an example of how far Steve’s influence has stretched.

My name is Eric Sparks, I attended CAL 7-12th grade, minus 8th grade (Mr. Priest from earlier posts is the father of a student that was a member of the club at the same time as me in high school). In addition to the school team, Steve mentored many of us in the club that weren’t good enough yet.

Though I knew how the pieces moved, I had never played competitively until I met Steve. He could see I was frustrated because he spent most of his time in the school meetings getting the top 5 boards ready to compete. Most of the kids were fine with this – it was a relaxed, social place, something to do after school. I wanted to win.

So he paid for my first USCF membership and entry into one of his weekly tournaments – not only did I learn from getting to play competitive matches, but since Steven couldn’t take a lot of time out during the school meetings to help me, he often reviewed my games with me after the tournament to teach me. It paid off. By high school I was in the top 5 boards routinely (there were six of us that regularly started, always challenging each other so the it was never permanently set), even though Steve wasn’t at CAL anymore, he did such a good job coaching us that we had learned how to continue to improve our games through self-analysis and there were six of us that were strong enough to continually foster growth in competitive play. I also actually began winning the prize for my division in the weekly tournaments (eventually moving up into a stronger division, but not shockingly I started losing games more often then, so I kept floating back and forth between the two divisions).

After school, I kept living in tiny towns (populations ~2k), so no chess tourneys or clubs in the area for 9 years after high school. I just moved to Atlanta, and was giving my history with chess to the Georgia Chess Association president, Fun Fong. I said, “You probably don’t know him, since he’s up in KY, but Steve Dillard was my mentor in chess and why I’m here today.” To my surprise, Fun knew exactly who I was referring to – they worked together in national events several times for the past six years or so.

I couldn’t find a club I could attend easily, so I began starting my own. I launched the site 5 hours before I heard of Steve’s murder. It felt like a sucker punch right to the gut. I was just thinking of trying to contact him – I knew it would make him smile to hear that he was the first cause of a chess club as far away as Atlanta.

That was Steve for you. He was never my teacher (he taught 8th grade Algebra, and 8th grade was the one year I wasn’t at CAL during his tenure), and I never was even a member of the actual team, and yet Steve took the time to mentor me and grow my love of the game. I’m still weaker than most of his direct protégés, but that’s mostly because I had to spend 9 years away from competitive chess. Now that I’ve found (and am even part of growing) a chess community, I hope to in a small way continue his legacy. If all of us that were impacted by Steve recontributed 1% of what he did, imagine what would happen to chess in the States.

-Eric

 

March 20, 2015 at 2:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

APorter
Member
Posts: 91

Eric, what year did you graduate from CAL? Steve was my chess coach there for years, as well. In fact, I was a student there when he arrived as a teacher. I graduated 1986.


--

Don't you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win!

1 Corinthians 9:24 

March 21, 2015 at 3:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Miami Fugatte
Member
Posts: 48

It was very nice to see so many of the people and friends whose lives Steve has touched these years attend  his visitation and funeral. I know that I will miss him greatly, as will everyone who knew him. He was a mentor and a friend to me. Steve was there at my first chess tournament, and encouraged me to play in adult events as well. He taught me how to direct chess tournaments, and how to be a better player. I recall an open event I played in as I first started chess. Mr. Dillard was the tournament director, I was in the under section. We were watching a game between 2 very strong players, Dennis Gogel and another strong expert. After a bit I became impaitent watching and stepped away. Steve came over to me, curious as to why I had left. I said confidently, "He is only down a pawn. It will be a draw." Steve replied, "Ahh, but he is down a pawn against a Master!" Sure enough, Gogel pressed his advantage and won.


Steve was more than a chess mentor to me. He was a friend. I can say that he was one of the kindest people I ever knew. When I was younger and much dumber, I had no place to stay. Steve let me stay at his house for several months for whatever I could pay him until I could get back on my feet. We would always have great conversations. Sports, politics, chess, movies, education, or even the newest restaurants around Louisville. I can't say that we would always agree, but the conversations were always enjoyable and I always had a great respect for his opinion.


There are so many great memories that I have of him, as do so many in the community. I can say that I will remember him everytime I hear the kids all start their clocks at the same time during a tournament, when I hear a basketball coach lose his mind on the sidelines, and everytime I hear the music from the ice cream truck pass by my neighborhood. So many others will miss you in their own ways, and those you touched will be better for having known you.

March 21, 2015 at 11:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Sparky
Member
Posts: 2

APorter at March 21, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Eric, what year did you graduate from CAL? Steve was my chess coach there for years, as well. In fact, I was a student there when he arrived as a teacher. I graduated 1986.


I didn't realize Steve was at CAL that long ago - he was the eight grade algebra teacher at the English Station campus when I was in middle school. I graduated high school in 2006.

March 22, 2015 at 10:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

FrankNiro
Member
Posts: 19

 

From Steve's funeral service on Saturday:

Stephen's death reminds us that we live in a world that can be dangerous, but Stephen chose to live with courage.

Stephen's death reminds us that many are deeply wounded, but Stephen chose to live in compassion.

Stephen's death reminds us that we live in a world where some despair, but Stephen chose to live in hope.

Stephen's death tempts us to cynicism about others, but Stephen chose to see the best in you.

For those left out and left behind, Stephen made room in his heart and his home.

- Pastor Jim England, 3/21/2015

March 22, 2015 at 11:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

APorter
Member
Posts: 91

This is a great quote, Frank. Thanks for sharing.

--

Don't you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win!

1 Corinthians 9:24 

March 23, 2015 at 12:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jerry Weldin
Member
Posts: 1

The last time I talked to Steve we were discussing Mike Anders untimely passing. Steve would put Mike up in his home when Mike was in town and they would stay up all night talking!

Steve was at his best with children; I'll never forget the sign he posted at the 2010 Bluegrass Games in Radcliff: "Ice Cream Truck OK to Stop Clock". 

March 26, 2015 at 7:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lenville Tucker
Member
Posts: 1

I met Steve during the mid 1990's.  We were counselors at the Camp Crescendo high school band camp (now a multifaceted facility operated by the Lions Club) located near Lebanon Junction, KY.  At the time I was teaching high school math in Brookville, IN.  Steve was teaching at the Middle School campus of CAL.  Steve informed me that there was an open math position at CAL.   Since I was getting ready to retire from public school teaching (I was 20 years older than Steve), I applied for the position and was accepted. 


Steve was living alone in his parents large home on Thelma Lane since his parents had both passed away.  He offered to rent me a sleeping room since my wife was still working in IN and I was commuting to Louisville from Brookville every week.  I went home to IN every week end during the whole school year.  I had more than a sleeping room.  He gave me the run of the house.  I usually got in first from school because of his extra duties.  After Steve got home, we prepared supper (I'm originally from SE KY, and in my neck of the woods, the evening meal is supper, not dinner).  


I stayed in contact with Steve for a few years.  My wife and I stayed overnight with him once and he had an exchange student from Norway.  Since I didn't know a KIng from a Queen or a Pawn, I never discussed chess with him.  I knew he was involved pretty heavily in chess at the local and state level but that's about all.  He never bragged or "patted himself on the back" about his accomplishments. 


My wife and I relocated to Florida in 2000, and I basically lost contact with Steve.  A few days ago I decided to try again to contact him and get him to visit us here in FL.  I typed his name on my Facebook page, and that's when I was shocked to learn about his death in March of this year.  We stayed in KY and IN about four months this summer from May through August; however, not much news from Louisville filters down there to the mountains.


Steve was so friendly and easy to get to know.  After about a week, it seemed that we had known each other all our lives.  Even though we knew each other for such a short time, it almost seems that I have lost a brother.  We had many interesting discussions about many things: politics, UK and UL basketball, good restaurants.  We never argued about anything.  Can you imagine a UL fan and a UK fan discussing basketball today without getting in a cussing contest?  I never knew what political party Steve belonged to, if any.  We were interested in ideas, not political parties.


I met Steve's sister once while I stayed with him.  I am truly sorry for the sad events that took place March 13, 2015, and send my condolences to Aynn and the remainder of the family.





















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January 1, 2016 at 3:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

jedijoshua
Member
Posts: 1

I just now found out about this.
Steve was a great friend and mentor and will be missed.


Josh Snyder

July 18, 2016 at 8:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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