Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina
United States Marine Corps
November 22, 1991 – January 14, 2016
Sgt. Dillon Semolina was born in Buffalo, Minnesota, and was a 2010 graduate of Delano High School. In his years at DHS, Dillon had a passion for competition, physical fitness and health, participating on the school’s football and golf teams when he wasn’t exercising in the Tiger Activity Center. Beyond this, Dillon had a passion for his friends, family, and being part of a community. He was known as a fun-loving goofball with antics that occasionally left him spending time in the principal’s office with or without his accomplices.
It was this combined love of health, adventure, community, and putting people first that drove Dillon nearly a year after graduation to fulfill a lingering childhood dream of joining the military as a United States Marine. Seeking opportunities for growth, Dillon excelled in the Marine Corps through boot camp and throughout his career. Through his training to become a CH-53 Air Crew Chief, he learned much about himself through service to his country in Australia and Hawaii. Remaining as willful and lighthearted as he was as a high school student, Dillon was admired for his loyalty to his family, friends, and to the Marine Corps. With only six months left in his enlistment, Dillon was applying to schools in pursuit of entering the healthcare industry once he graduated. Dillon’s dreams were BIG and we know he would’ve accomplished them all.
A son, husband, brother, and friend, Dillon tragically lost his life on January 14, 2016. Leading his CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew on a nighttime training mission near Oahu, Hawaii, Dillon was one of twelve Marines who perished that night when his helicopter collided with a second CH-53E helicopter. Sgt. Dillon Joseph Semolina’s body was never recovered. He is survived by his wife Laurie, mother Lisa, stepfather Mike, sisters Isabella and Celeste, brothers Gregory and Gabriel, extended family and friends and the Delano community.