Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dillon Hoey- A Catholic Education is a Lifestyle

It has been my honor to meet and get to know hundreds of Leo Men. At the top left of this page from the Leo Alumni Website is one of the greatest - J. Dillon Hoey.   Mr. Hoey went home to Christ in April of 2003.  I accompanied Leo ,teacher,  coach, President-CEO and Father Figure Bob Foster to St. Michael's Catholic Church in Old Town for the funeral Mass.  Bob Foster was a year older than Dillon Hoey and had been a team mate on 1956 City Championship Team coached by the legendary Jimmy Arneberg.

Dillon Hoey was a very close friend of my cousin Eddie Burke.  Eddie played for the Mendel Monarchs against his buddy and some of scariest human beings in Catholic League football:  Leo Men Tom Winecki, Don Flynn, Eddie Ryan, Pony Cavanaugh, Rich Boyle, Bob Swast and of course Bob Foster.  Eddie went to Notre Dame and Dillon went to Yale but they kept in touch all through college.

My cousin went on to play with the Houston Oilers and became an attorney in Houston after his pro career. Dillon Hoey became a famous labor lawyer and workers compensation advocate.  At Yale he roomed with future Vice President Dick Cheney and like his long friendship with Ed Burke kept in close touch throughout his life.  Ed Burke continues to  send in money to help Leo kids and their families in memory of J. Dillon Hoey, Leo 1959.

I mention all of this because last night Leo President Dan McGrath, football coach and Dean Mike Holmes and me attended a high school recruitment night at J. Dillon Hoey's parish and alma mater St. Barnabas School in Beverly. We were joining the many Catholic high schools in presenting our case to 7th and grade students looking to their futures.  

One young man who stopped by our table  and filled out a card was the grandson of Dillon Hoey.  His grandfather forged the competitive nature that made him a highly successful and very giving man.  My cousin Eddie Burke and his pal Dillon Hoey faced one another over the scrimmage line and represented what is best in Catholic schools on the broken beer bottles, ciders and rocks of the old Shewbridge Field which was the home of the Leo Lions as well as the wonderfully maintained Eckersoll Stadium and the icon St. Rita Stadium, notable for the sewer manhole handicap in its south end-zone.

Catholic schools are God centered places of learning. Fierce competition for places on teams, as well as a desk in a classroom are part and parcel of this cradle of virtue.  Catholic high schools are all fundamentally the same,but distinct in spirit and traditions.  The is cost in time talent and treasure.  Leo welcomes anyone who wants to succeed, base his life on the gospel, dedicate himself to others and give back more than he receives.  It ain't pretty, neat, or easy; neither is life.

J. Dillon Hoey was the son of a Chicago cop.  He put his heart and hands into the work all through his high school experience, knowing full well that goals are not the end of the story. Once goal is met, a Catholic educated young man should ask, " Okay, what do you want me to do now?"

It would be great to see Dillon Hoey's grandson choose Leo.  This school would serve him as much as it did his grandfather.  However, whatever Catholic school the young man decides up will be an equally great choice. A Chicago public school is out of the question, because there is only a "there" there. A Catholic education is lifestyle.

God Bless the young man and his wonderful grandfather.  Read the tribute from Dillon Hoey's law firm, especially the wonderful quote fro St. Francis of Assisi.

Dillon Hoey - Leo 1958 wearing # 98

J. Dillon Hoey at Yale

Remembering a Life of Giving

J. Dillon HoeyJ. Dillon Hoey

Our firm is deeply saddened by the loss of our wonderful friend, J. Dillon Hoey. Dillon passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2003, from pancreatic cancer.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Dillon’s wife Mary Ann, and other family members. The funeral mass was held at St. Michael’s Church, 1633 North Cleveland Street, Chicago, Illinois, on Thursday, May 1. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be sent to The Alzheimer's Association.
Dillon will be greatly missed by the 35 families of Hoey & Farina, and by so many more in the railroad and legal communities. We want to thank everyone who has sent their sympathies. We have passed these condolences along to Dillon’s wife and family.
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Dillon was the son of a Chicago policeman and the grandson of a railroad worker who was fatally injured on the job. With an entire career representing injured workers, Dillon’s professional life manifested the personal values that grew from his strong south side roots.
Dillon grew up in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. He attended Leo High School, where he was part of the legendary football squad that won the city championship. Later, at Yale University, Dillon was on the undefeated 1959 freshman football team with Dick Cheney, the current vice president of the United States. After Yale, Dillon returned to Chicago where he attended DePaul University’s College of Law.
Twenty five years ago, Dillon started his own firm. He was appointed Designated Legal Counsel for the United Transportation Union in 1991, and appointed Designated Legal Counsel for the Transportation Communications Union in 1998. Never one to rest on his accomplishments, Dillon continued to build the firm, which now holds seven union designations. During these years, Dillon’s leadership was instrumental in Hoey & Farina, obtaining many of the largest verdicts and settlements for railroaders and their families in the United States.
In the process of building the law firm, Dillon also expanded the definition of Designated Legal Counsel. Dillon offered more than the best legal representation to railroaders and their families. His mission -- the firm’s mission -- was simple -- inform railroaders of their unique rights under the law. The fruit of his efforts is an array of resources; a collection of books, videos, email and print newsletters, websites and seminars that are available for free to railroaders and their families. Dillon raised the bar for what it means to serve as Designated Legal Counsel, and the union membership is the better for it. We know that this is exactly what Dillon envisioned and what he delivered.
Dillon's long list of professional associations include the Academy of Railroad Labor Attorneys, American Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. Dillon’s involvement in the community was equally impressive. Dillon served on the executive board of Leo High School, where he was an active contributor to the school and a sponsor of Leo students. Dillon also served as chairman of the Art Committee of the Union League Club of Chicago, a leading civic and community organization. We have highlighted only a few of Dillon’s many community and educational involvements over the years.
St. Francis of Assisi reminds us, “When you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage." Dillon left us on Sunday, April 27, 2003, and it is certain that he left with a wonderful heart filled by a lifetime of giving to others.
Hoey & Farina pledges to continue the firm and the mission that Dillon built as a tribute to his life. We will continue to honor and celebrate his life in our work, in our hearts and in our prayers.

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