Jesse Preston Dilday

Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jesse Preston Dilday, 85, of Suffolk, died peacefully in his home surrounded by his family on May 4, 2015.



Jesse is survived by his wife, Velma Askew Dilday; his children, David P. and Donna N. Dilday, of Virginia Beach, and Michael W. and Marian P. Dilday, of Suffolk; grandchildren Stephannie (Josh) Mastin, Kimberly (Jason) Baines, Michelle (Luke) Clay and Melissa Dilday; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Bernice C. Dilday, of Norfolk.

Jesse was born to the late Joseph and Mable Dilday, a farmer in Powellsville, N.C., along with his brothers, Colbert, Robert and McCoy, and sister, Mary Anne Williams. Jesse left the farm as a young man to pursue a business education and career. After working for several corporations in Richmond and the New York area, he moved to Norfolk to purchase a small wholesale food distributor and manufacturer. The company, Supreme Foods Inc., later moved to Suffolk and became one of the largest independent foodservice distributors on the East Coast.

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Jesse was a devout Christian and active in various Baptist churches throughout his life. He was instrumental in helping to start several Baptist missions in New Jersey. He was a member of Wilroy Baptist Church as a lifetime deacon, and a member of the Gideons International.

Visitation will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, at R.W. Baker Funeral Home, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434. A celebration of life in his honor will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 8, at Wilroy Baptist Church, 306 Williams Road, Suffolk, VA 23434 with Dr. Robert Carpenter and the Rev. Tim Rawls officiating. The family will receive friends in the Family Life Center of Wilroy Baptist Church following the entombment at Meadowbrook Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the youth department of Wilroy Baptist Church (care of Andy Powers), and the Chuckatuck Volunteer Fire Department, 300 Kings Highway, Suffolk, VA 23434. Condolences may be registered online at