On a warm, sunny November day, about 100 volunteers scattered throughout Terry County, Texas, to harvest about 1,200 acres of Tony Dill's cotton.
Dill, born June 3, 1960, passed away Oct. 23, 2020, just prior to harvesting his peanuts and cotton and planting his wheat.
Dill, a husband, father, and grandfather, was a community volunteer, serving his church and within the local prison ministry. He also served the agricultural community in leadership roles such as president of the Western Peanut Growers Association and Southwest Cotton Growers. He also served on the executive committee of the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, the American Peanut Council Board of Directors, as a director of Tejas Peanuts in Brownfield, along with several other agricultural boards.
On Nov. 6, Erica and her husband Tanner Hogue along with their son and Dill's grandson, Hayden Hogue, gathered in one of Dill's fields near Gomez. Tanner, who was instrumental in coordinating the cotton harvest, drove a cotton stripper while Hayden proudly rode in the tractor pulling the boll buggy with family employee Henry Unger as Erica stood on her father's turn row and observed the final harvest.
Nearby in another field, Ryan Dill, Tony's son, harvested his dad's crop with his stripper baler, proud of his dad's yields, especially in a year of drought.
At an area hanger, volunteers cooked fajitas and delivered meals to the various fields. Donations included monetary, fuel and plastic wrap, to name a few.
Take a moment to hear what the Dill family had to say about their community, their father, and his final harvest. A short clip from a 2018 interview with Tony Dill also is included.
His story begins with his grandson Hayden, who affectionately called Tony, "Blue Pops." Tony's favorite color was blue.
Tony is survived by his wife Donna Dill; and his mother, Sue Dill of Brownfield. He is also survived by sister Rhonda Dill Fanous and husband Ramsey of McKinney; and three cousins raised as his siblings: James Harlan and wife Linsey with their daughters Swazyee and Jerzee of Wellman, E.C. Harlan and wife Heather with their son Tel of Wellman, and Jeremy Harlan of Stephenville, Texas. Tony is also survived by his children: Ryan Dill and wife Kristin, of Wellman; Erica Hogue and husband Tanner of Brownfield; Haylee Dill of Lubbock; Morgan Vaughan and husband Sean of Lubbock; and Calvin Day of Lubbock. Tony is also survived by his grandchildren: Brason, Braxton, Brody and Brecken Dill of Wellman; Hayden Hogue of Brownfield; and Kolbee Jordan, Maggie Ann and Mason Vaughan of Lubbock, according to his obituary at legacy.com.