Friday, March 9, 2007

Travis Dayton Dilleha


On the morning of Monday, Feb. 5, 2007, Travis Dayton Dilleha, lovingly known as "Papa Trav," left this world to meet his Maker. Travis passed away at the Double R Ranch in Picabo, Idaho.

Born Aug. 14, 1938, in Davidson County, Tenn., Travis spent his early years working with his dad on several different farms raising tobacco and dairy cows. His love for animals began early in his life, and as a teenager was proud to be named the Tennessee Junior Dairyman of the Year. Travis graduated from East Robertson High School, where he was a star player on the football team. While in high school, he also began his military career by joining the National Guard.

Travis' service in the Army took him to Vietnam, and he was later part of the Company "C" Fifth Special Services. He continued to serve in the armed forces until his 1988 military retirement. Travis married his true love, Sherry Ary Roberts, in 1976. In 1990, he retired after 25 years from his civilian career as a Tennessee wildlife officer. His sense of adventure soon found he and Sherry in an RV, traveling and spending time fishing and enjoying the great outdoors, which he loved. Picabo, Idaho, became more than a favorite vacation spot as they settled into their nook on Silver Creek, where Trav became a fly-fishing guide to many anglers.

In 2003, Travis completed an extended labor of love, building his own airplane, which he appropriately named, Lori Darlin', (since Trav, a.k.a. "Gus," could easily quote the entire script of Lonesome Dove). He has since flown 1,200-plus hours in his travels from one end of the country to the other, but Idaho backcountry flying proved to be his favorite pastime.

Travis had many loves in his life. Whether he was looking through a lens, riding the open range (wearing his 10-gallon hat), casting a line upstream, or soaring in the skies, he loved life and lived it to the fullest. There was no question that "people" were his business. He touched many hearts from all over the world. He was loved by all because he loved all. A friend noted that the "pebbles he tossed" indeed make big circles.

Travis will be greatly missed. He will be remembered as a man who could do anything he set out to do. He had a great amount of courage and faith, which was even more evident through the last few months of his life. There was no mountain too high, no river too wide, no canyon too deep, never a challenge too great. He was always ready for "the draw"—whatever was dealt. Trav was a hero—a legend—and legends never die.

Travis Dilleha is survived by his wife, Sherry, and children: Crystal, Dawn, Jason and Brett, all of Tennessee, and six grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister, Nancy Warren, and several cousins.

At his request, there will be no funeral service. His ashes will be scattered from "Lori Darlin'" along Silver Creek at the Double R Ranch.

Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel of Hailey.




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