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Mike Dill: 1950-2006
Filed 7/24/06 GCN

(One of the true heroes of Katrina, Mike Dill, has passed away. Mike has worked tirelessly since the hurricane for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and was a well-known figure among many public officials on the Coast. Mike died unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was born in Biloxi, his parents still live in Ocean Springs. - Editor)

Michael “Mike” Lynn Dill, 56, of Brandon died Saturday July 22, 2006 at Rankin Medical Center in Brandon. Services for Mr. Dill will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Ott and Lee Chapel in Brandon with interment in the Hopewell Cemetery in Magee. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Mike was employed at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. He began his career at MEMA in 2000 in the agency’s communications department before taking an active role as one of the first four individuals who created the agency’s Area Coordinator Program. As an Area Coordinator during the last five years, it was his job to work daily with county emergency managers and also to respond immediately during times of emergencies to the counties.

Since his employment with MEMA, Mike has worked during 11 Presidential Declared Disasters, 7 U.S. Small Business Administration Declared Disasters and more than 19 Mississippi Governor State of Emergencies.

During Hurricane Katrina, he served as a member of the State’s Emergency Response Team that deployed to Camp Shelby in Forrest County and then to Harrison County to serve as the operations center for the six most southern counties.

He also served as the Area Coordinator liaison for Hancock County for several months following Katrina. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors and Emergency Management Director presented Mike with a plaque honoring him for his service to their county during the disaster.

In 2003, Mike also received an appreciation award from the Mississippi Civil Defense/Emergency Management Association for his support and service to the association and the field of emergency management.

Prior to working at MEMA, Mike retired as a Sergeant from the Jackson Police Department’s Precinct 3 in 1994. He began his career at JPD in 1971 and during his tenure there, he was nationally recognized as an expert in child abuse investigations. Mike taught child investigation courses nationwide and was a founding member of the Child Protection Unit.

In April 1991, Mike and fellow Officer Victor Mason were chosen to represent the police department by appearing on an episode of “The Phil Donahue Show.” As a guest on the program, Mike demonstrated the official arrest procedures for JPD and handcuffed Mr. Donahue.

Mike is survived by his wife of 33 years, Debbie Dill of Brandon. He is also survived by a son, Christopher Dill of Clinton; three daughters, Allison Johnson of Pelahatchie, and Amanda and Ashley Dill of Brandon; his parents Rudolph and Margie Dill of Ocean Springs; one sister Dr. Adrianne Linton of San Antonio; three brothers, Gary Dill of Vicksburg, Ron Dill of San Antonio, and Barry Dill of Jackson; and two grandchildren, Christopher Wyatt and Greyson Lane Smith.

Mike loved his work with MEMA and the State of Mississippi, but his first love was his wife, his children and his grandchildren.

Mike was born April 15, 1950 at Keesler Medical Center in Biloxi and he graduated from H.V. Cooper High School in 1968. He attended Pinelake Baptist Church in Brandon.

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