By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Justice of the peace. County councilwoman. County auditor. County commissioner.
It sounds like a loaded resume. But one of the people who worked closest with Pat Dillon said he’ll remember her most for how she dealt with people. And her baking.
Dillon, 86, died Monday in her home, leaving behind a distinguished political career as one of the most influential women in Madison County history.
John Richwine, who worked with Dillon as county commissioner from 2004 to 2008, said she was a people person who loved doing things for other people.
“Pat was all about people, and she knew a lot of folks. I learned a lot from her about how to deal with people,” Richwine said.
Dillon entered politics in 1970, when she was approached by a Republican Party member and asked to run for justice of the peace in Richland Township, northeast of Anderson. She performed more than 200 marriages and oversaw several cases, all on the bottom floor of her home. She was the first and last justice of the peace in Richland Township.
In 1976, she left the position to become a member of the Madison County Council, and she was council president for seven of the 17 years she served. In 1996, she was elected county auditor, a position she held until 2004.
“I knew Pat’s daughters for a long time because they were just younger than me, but I really got to know Pat when we served together as commissioners. During the campaign, we pounded the pavement together and both won,” Richwine said.
“She was a lot of fun to work with. She’d work all day, then go home and bake something for people and bring it in to work the next day.”
Dillon, Richwine and then-commissioner Paul Wilson worked to bring an ethanol plant to the county, and also assisted in bringing the Nestle plant to Anderson.
In 2008, she announced her retirement from politics. In a 2008 interview with The Herald Bulletin, Dillon said she’d miss working with people most.
Dillon leaves behind three children: Le Anna Muckenhirn, Tim Dillon and Tricia “Amy” Macomber.
“She was a good public servant,” Richwine said. “She was always trying to help people solve problems.”
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