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Al Dillan — a good neighbor for 47 years

Al Dillan, who will retire Friday after 47 years as a State Farm agent, has been and will continue an active involvement with the Shrines and Bremerton Symphony. - Photo by Tracey Cooper
Al Dillan, who will retire Friday after 47 years as a State Farm agent, has been and will continue an active involvement with the Shrines and Bremerton Symphony.
— image credit: Photo by Tracey Cooper

As 2004 comes to a close Dec. 31 so will Al Dillan’s 47-year career as a State Farm agent.

“It’s been a good career,” Dillian said. “I’ve enjoyed the work and the people I’ve dealt with,” he said.

The downtown Bremerton office has been in the State Farm family for more than 50 years. Dillian bought out the business in 1974 from its previous owner who had been there 25 years.

He doesn’t attempt to guesstimate the number of people he’s assisted in their insurance needs or dare take credit for contributions he’s made to the community.

Over the years he has played an integral part in the Bremerton Symphony Association and the Shrine Club.

“I started playing the cello when I was 6 years old,” Dillan said.

He was introduced to the cello by the band-orchestra teacher in Proctor, Minn. He later learned to play the trumpet. While in high school years Dillan played in a dance band, worked full time on the railroad, earned an Eagle Scout award, lettered in football and graduated valedictorian.

In 1948 he turned down a congressional appointment to the Naval Academy which prompted his father, who was chairman of the local draft board, to strongly “advise” him to join a military reserve organization. Dillian joined the Naval Reserve, and while in college, he participated in the reserve officer candidate program.

During college he was a member of the Duluth Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduation from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, he was commissioned in the Naval Reserve and served an active duty tour aboard a destroyer in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet.

He then went to Northwestern University where he earned a Master of Music degree and studied under Dudley Powers, principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony. He then moved to Boise, Idaho where he was employed as an orchestra and instrumental instructor in the public schools. While in Boise, he conducted the high school orchestra, which qualified for the Northwest Music Conference, was a cellist with the Boise Symphony as well as its rehearsal and assistant conductor under Antonia Brico, taught private music lessons, directed church choirs and continued participation in the Naval Reserve.

After three years of teaching, Dillian moved to Salt Lake City to become a State Farm Insurance agent. In 1961 he was appointed as District Manager for State Farm in Seattle. In 1974 he moved to Bremerton and began his own agency.

He also joined the Bremerton Symphony.

“The Bremerton Symphony is the only one in town,” he said.

He played several concerts with

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