Following almost 45 years of marriage, Jim and Sunnie Dillinger, of Tulsa,
passed away, merely one week apart. Sunnie, 77, died on Friday, February 6
th 2015 and Jim, 87, on Saturday, February 14
th, 2015. Both were surrounded by love and will be deeply missed.
Erileene J. “Sunnie” Dillinger was born in Seminole, Oklahoma
on July 23
rd, 1937. James E. “Jim” Dillinger was born in Cassville, Missouri
on November 14
th, 1927. They considered Tulsa their home.
Jim attended Oklahoma Baptist University before attending seminary. His
life path included being an Army veteran, an Episcopal priest, a lively
career at ONG and later, The Edit Suite. In 1985, Jim co-founded the Tulsa
Walking Club, which is a part of the American Volksporting Association,
with fellow Tulsan & friend, Bob Pugh, who passed in 2014. Chockfull
of wisdom and wit, Jim’s smile lit up the room. His kind and gentle
spirit touched all of those he encountered.
Sunnie graduated from Cushing High School in 1955. Her life path included
a passion for antiques, working at the Cushing Daily Citizen, and a diligent
career at Shell Oil Company, where she was known for her strong work ethic
and bright disposition. She was on the board and founding member of what
is now the First Tulsa Credit Union. Sunnie was proud of her antiques
business, Timeless Treasures; she traveled the Southern United States
and cherished her fellow antiques dealers and loyal customers.
Jim and Sunnie touched the lives of many and were loved by people across
the U.S. and internationally. They shared a passion for Native American
culture & art; they remained committed to supporting & preserving
the unique cultural heritage of American Indians.
We are blessed to have learned many valuable lessons from Jim and Sunnie,
lovingly known as Opa & Oma, to their family. We would like to express
our gratitude to Benita Merkle, who provided in-home care to Sunnie and
Jim, for the past 2 years.
Jim and Sunnie are survived by their 3 children: Bob Dillinger & his
wife, Diane (Colorado Springs, CO), Karen Dillinger (Littleton, CO), &
Debbie Weston (Eureka Springs, AR); 4 granddaughters: Lisa Machande Davidson
(Tulsa, OK), Krista Dillinger McIntosh (Colorado Springs, CO), Hilary
D. Harber (Little Rock, AR), & Melissa Dillinger Oyster (Colorado
Springs, CO) & 9 great-grandchildren.
In keeping with the wishes of Jim and Sunnie, a private family service
will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Smithsonian’s
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, DC (
http://nmai.si.edu/support/giving/donation or 1-800-242-6624). Please share your memories on the guestbook on this page.