Jerry Page Dill
1927 - 2005
Jerry Dill was a member of the Voice of Prophecy's King's Heralds Quartet from 1948 to 1962, singing bass for all but two of those years. During his years at the VOP, he completed a degree at La Sierra College, now La Sierra University, in 1957 and was ordained to the ministry by VOP speaker H.M.S. Richards.
He pastored in Hawaii for three years after leaving the VOP and then worked as a singing evangelist in central California. Dill subsequently served as a minister for 24 more years. Following his retirement in 1990 after 42 years in ministry, he continued, through singing and giving Bible studies, to assist the church until his death.
Born in Calico Rock, Arkansas, from his earliest years Jerry had an easy smile and outgoing personality. He enjoyed singing alone, and when out in nature, often serenaded trees or bushes. After hearing a famous singer on the radio, he informed his mother that he would someday be on the radio, too.
His family moved to Puyallup, Washington, when he was eight. Jerry was baptized at age eleven, shortly after his family was converted to the Seventh-day Adventist church. After graduating from Auburn Academy, now Auburn Adventist Academy, he attended Southwestern Junior College, now Southwestern Adventist University, and Walla Walla College, now University. During his sophomore year at WWC, the VOP announced an opening in the King's Heralds. Dill immediately hitchhiked to Glendale, California, where he successfully auditioned for the position.
He joined the broadcast in 1947, at age nineteen, during a time of transition for the quartet. Although initially hired to replace Ray Turner, bass with the original quartet, he was shifted to baritone for a short while. When Wayne Hooper was invited to form a new quartet in 1949, he immediately moved Dill back to bass, which he sang for the next thirteen years. For twelve of those years he was part of what would become known as the legendary "Hooper Quartet." It was a group that through its twelve years of existence and numerous recordings defined the King's Heralds' sound.
Wayne Hooper observed at the time of Dill's death:
We [VOP musicians] all enjoyed his beautiful resonant voice. He had nearly a two-octave range. Sometimes we would have vocalizing contests in the car during our many travels. Jerry could crack out a high Ab, full voice, right along with the tenors!
Recording sessions for hours on end can get tedious. Jerry had a terrific sense of humor and often used it to relieve tensions. He was great at using his face and voice to mimic strange characters we all knew, or to tell funny stories. He loved jokes and always had one on the ready on almost any subject. He was a pied piper with little kids, astonishing them by pulling nickels out of their ears or doing other sleight-of-hand tricks. They loved him!
We had a wonderful time singing in our twelve years together as a quartet and working with Del Delker and H.M.S. Richards on the broadcast. I look forward to singing praise again to our Maker, under the "Tree of Life," with Jerry and the rest of that quartet.
Dill and his wife, LaVona, were living in Puyallup, Washington, when he died at age 77.
Sources: Life Sketch, unknown presenter, Memorial Service, 22 January 2005; Comments from email sent to family by Wayne Hooper, 18 January 2005; Chapel Records liner, Songs I Sing.