Big Ivy loses a legend

Hoyte Dillingham, one of the pillars of the Big Ivy community, passed away on Monday, March 23, at age 76. He and his wife Judy founded the D&D Grocery Store and Restaurant, which remains the hub of Barnardsville community life. Hoyte knew the Big Ivy forests better than anyone, and he played an important role in protecting them from massive logging in the 1990s. Hoyte will be deeply missed. His obituary appears below. 



BARNARDSVILLE – Hoyte Neal Dillingham, age 76 of 1001 Dillingham Road died Monday, March 23, 2015. 

Hoyte was born October 11, 1938 in Buncombe County where he had lived most of his life. He lived in Alexandria, VA for about 5 years where he managed ACME Markets. After returning home Hoyte worked at A&P Grocery and later started D&D Grocery and Restaurant in Democrat. He attended Barnardsville School, was in the first graduating class of North Buncombe High School and attended Western Carolina University. An avid bear hunter and member of the American Plott Hound Association, Hoyte’s interest in hunting came from his father. In 1955 he started breeding and raising his own Plott Hounds and was known in the area as a breeder of U.K.C. Registered Plott Bear Dogs. Hoyte was instrumental in getting the Plott Hound as the North Carolina State Dog. Living in the Dillingham Community was next to heaven to Hoyte, he loved all of his friends just as he did his family. 

Son of the late Thomas Lester and Connie Bumgarner Dillingham he was also preceded in death by brothers, Thomas L. Dillingham, Jr. and William S. Hyatt and sisters, Helen Shuford and Marie Haynes. 

Surviving are his wife of 55 years Judy Dillingham Dillingham; daughters, Cheri Dillingham Bettilyon and husband Scott of Barnardsville, Lisa Dillingham Bonner and husband Sparkie of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Amy Dillingham Webb and Justin of Barnardsville; special friend, Kevin Proffitt of Barnardsville; sisters, Carolyn Banks of Barnardsville, Irene Richards and husband Ken of Asheville; grandchildren, Alex Bettilyon, Caroline Bettilyon, Taylor Lake, Bradley Hill, Carley Neal Buckner, and Maddey Webb; great grandchildren, Brylan and Hatley Lake and Connor Neal Banks. 

His funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Dillingham Presbyterian Church, 16 Stoney Fork Rd., Barnardsville, with Reverend Richard Hicks officiating. Burial will be in Lester Dillingham Cemetery, Barnardsville. 

The family will receive friends 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday at the funeral home. 

At other times, the family will be at the residence. 

Fresh flowers are welcome or memorials may be made to Barnardsville Fire Department, PO Box 126, Barnardsville, NC 28709 or Big Ivy Historical Society, PO Box 402, Barnardsville, NC 28709. 

For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Hoyte’s obituary at