Craig Dilley

Craig Alan Dilley, age 48, of Ankeny, Iowa, passed away Sunday, February 2, 2014, due to a single vehicle accident on Highway 330 in Jasper County, Iowa.

Born January 8, 1966, in Omaha, Nebraska, he was a son of John Franklin Dilley and Patricia Ann Morrissey Dilley.

Craig was a graduate of Pocahontas County High School. He attended Marshall University and then enlisted in the United States Air Force from 1989 to 1991. He served as the Department Head of Weather Observing Operations from 1989 to 1991 at the Tonopah Test Range, at Ellis Air Force Base in Nevada. He received the John Levitow Leadership Award in 1989.

Craig received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1993, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. From Iowa State University he received his BS, Magna Cum Laude, 1995; MS, with Distinction, 1999; and PhD, 2007, in Horticulture. During his time at ISU, he held positions of Research Associate, II, Graduate Assistant and Instructor in the Horticulture department. He received the Iowa State University VEISHA Outstanding Faculty Award in 2005 and the Iowa State University Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award in 2007.

Craig most recently worked as Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Des Moines Area Community College. He also taught courses in Field Ecology, Conservation Biology, Botany, Sustainable Living and Human Biology. He loved teaching and thought it was important to include humor in his classes.

In 1999, he married Erika Elizabeth Hodgson, in Ames, Iowa. Twin daughters, Gretta Edith and Sophia Lucile were born to them on June 30, 2002. They later divorced.

Craig had many talents –– drawing, playing guitar, collecting books and humor. He enjoyed everything in nature. He was an extremely caring, compassionate and humble person. He was also a wonderful father.

He is survived by his father, John Franklin Dilley, of Marlinton; his mother, Patricia Ann Morrissey Fowler, and husband, Richard, of Louisa, Virginia; daughters, Gretta Dilley and Sophia Dilley, and their mother, Erika Hodgson, of Vinton, Iowa; a brother, John W. Dilley, of Oxnard, California; a sister, Pamela Moore, and husband, Jackie, of Marlinton; half-brother, Dustin Fowler, of Louisa, Virginia; many nieces and nephews; and his former in-laws and friends, Jim and Jacquie Hodgson, of Vinton, Iowa.

Memorial service was February 8 at Windsor Methodist Church, Des Moines, Iowa.

Online condolences may be made at

more recommended stories