Obituary: George 'Pete' Dillon / Nuclear services leader at Westinghouse

Aug. 29, 1945 - March 5, 2012
March 8, 2012 12:00 am

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From a boy who took pleasure in reassembling transistor radios, George "Pete" Dillon grew up to lead Westinghouse Electric Co.'s nuclear services across the globe.

But Mr. Dillon's profession isn't the only aspect of his adult life that was foreshadowed in his youth.

His elementary school sweetheart became his wife. His model train displays occupied so much space in his house that the couple had to add on.

And when cancer started to take over, he found solace in the same comfort food he had loved since he was a kid.

"When nothing tasted good to him, he still had chocolate and vanilla ice cream cones," his wife, Elizabeth, said.

Mr. Dillon died at his Murrysville home on Monday. He was 66.

Nicknamed "Pete" because his father was also George, Mr. Dillon's interest in electronics developed on Saturdays spent at his father's appliance store in Sharpsburg.

At Shaler High School he played the trumpet for the band and became a drum major in the 10th grade, which carried a unique duty: At halftime at football games, a young Mr. Dillon took the field to twirl fiery batons.

"Throughout his life, at parties, if there were enough libations flowing he could be persuaded to twirl an umbrella or something like that," explains Mrs. Dillon.

When he wasn't entertaining others, he often amused himself with pranks.

"He was an engineer and he had some strange toys," said Jack Karol, a friend since childhood. "He used to electrify the glider at his parents' house and wait for people to sit down and jolt them."

After graduating from Shaler in 1963, Mr. Dillon received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Tech and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

He took a job at Westinghouse after graduating from Carnegie Tech and rose from an engineer to the nuclear services chief of global operations over a 43-year career.

First Published 2012-03-07 23:06:03

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