L. Thomas Dillman, 89, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio Wesleyan University, died July 16 at Riverside Methodist Hospital. Born in Huntington, Indiana, to Lloyd and Marie Dillman on August 26, 1931, he spent his youth on a farm.
His studies included a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Manchester in 1953, as well as a bachelor’s and a doctorate. graduates in nuclear spectroscopy from the University of Illinois in 1958. He began his scientific career in experimental nuclear physics and later served as a consultant for thirty years in the Internal Radiation Dose Research Division of Health and Safety at the University of Illinois. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He collaborated with physicists to develop a computer program to calculate radiation doses in organs and tissues of the human body. His publications in nuclear medicine and health have been widely used by physicians around the world to determine safe radiation doses. This research has contributed to the writing of three comprehensive co-authored data books which are key reference books for nuclear medicine and radiation protection commissions that have been widely used internationally.
Dr. Dillman entered the teaching profession at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1958 and has dedicated fifty years of service to that university. His enthusiasm for physics was overwhelming. Very early on, his innovative use of computers for education gave students of the time cutting-edge experience for future careers. Through his lectures he imparted a love of physics, a requirement for rigor in problem solving and an injunction to achieve the best in all endeavors. Students spent endless hours in electronics classes mastering difficult ideas and crucial analytical lab skills.
His dedication to physics has earned him the admiration and affection of four decades of OWU students and faculty. Thereupon, he received the President Herbert Welch’s Meritorious Teaching Award in 1978. In 2004, the L. Thomas Dillman Electronics Lab at the OWU was dedicated to his enthusiasm and expertise in teaching. electronics. He was also one term chair of the physics department and a member of the staff committee.
Dr Dillman supported music in every way. He solved Sudoku puzzles to relax and was competitive in games. He spent many years cycling the Scioto River Valley Tour and Delaware County roads with his friends Robert Caulkins and Wendell Patton. He cycled tours in Canada and North Carolina with his son. The opportunities to travel to Europe, Turkey, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States have given rise to great adventures. In 1985-1986 he spent nine months in Spain writing a textbook while his wife, Mary Alice, taught English as a Foreign Language at the International Institute in Madrid. He was active in the Delaware Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
His family and friends have described him as warm, curious, thoughtful and contemplative. The Dillmans raised four children whose accomplishments reflect the Dillmans’ appreciation for art and scholarship.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Alice; John, his son in Delaware; Anne Kloos, professor of physiotherapy at Ohio State University; Susan Waterbury, concert violinist and violin teacher at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY; and Bradford, professor of international political economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Grandsons Harrison Dillman also survive; Daniel and Zachary Kloos and his granddaughter Noelle Dillman.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 4 p.m. in the atrium of the Schimmel-Conrades Science Center, 90 South Union Street, in person with masks and social distancing or on YouTube.
In lieu of flowers, donations for physics scholarships in memory of Tom Dillman can be made to Ohio Wesleyan University, University Advancement, 61 South Sandusky Street, Delaware, OH 43015; or the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Published by The Delaware Gazette from August 6 to 7, 2021.