Charles H. Dillemuth
Charles Henry "Chuck" Dillemuth (February 18, 1912 – August 29, 1989) was a Baton Rouge businessman, decorated war veteran, civic leader, and a pioneer in the establishment of the Republican Party in his adopted state of Louisiana.
In 1960, Dillemuth was the GOP candidate for the United States House of Representatives from the Baton Rouge-based Sixth Congressional District. He was defeated by the incumbent Democrat James H. Morrison of Hammond in Tangipahoa Parish, one of the "Florida Parishes" east of Baton Rouge.
He served in the Philippines during World War II and was involved in the 1945 occupation of Japan. He was discharged as a captain. He won a Bronze Star, three Battle Stars, a Bronze Arrowhead, and a Meritorious Unit Citation.
Dillemuth was an at-large delegate to the Republican National Convention of 1952, which met in Chicago and nominated the Dwight D. Eisenhower-Richard M. Nixon ticket. In 1960, Dillemuth was the first Republican to challenge Representative Morrison, who had been first elected in 1942. Dillemuth's 14.4 percent of the vote was only half of that attained by presidential nominee Richard Nixon in Louisiana that year, when the state voted heavily for the Kennedy-Johnson electors. Dillemuth did not again seek office but continued to support the gradual movement toward a two-party system in Louisiana.
A successful real estate agent, Dillemuth served on the board of Baton Rouge Realtors. He was active in more than a dozen civic organizations:
- The Salvation Army
- The Lakeshore Lions Club
- United Fund
- The American Red Cross
- Louisiana Public Broadcasting
- National Public Radio
- Hilltop Arboretum
- The Baton Rouge Food Bank
- Blundon Home and Orphanage
- Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations
- The International Hospitality Foundation
- The Baton Rouge Art Gallery
- The Baton Rouge Symphony
Awards: "Realtor of the Year" (1959) "Louisiana Farm and Land Broker of the Year" (1971) "Baton Rouge Realtors Humanitarian Award" (1974) (Since renamed the "Charles H. Dillemuth Humanitarian Award")
In 1977, the Salvation Army presented Dillemuth with its highest honor, the "OTHERS" award. Thereafter, he received the Salvation Army's "Golden Deeds" award.
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Ruth Stephens (1915-1982), a Louisiana native. Memorial services were held at the University United Methodist Church, where Dillemuth was an active member. He was survived by six children:
- Charles Robert Dillemuth and Dean Dillemuth, both of Baton Rouge
- Karli D. Cordero of Denham Springs
- Margaret Danos of Cocoa Beach, Florida
- Rachel S. Dillemuth of Bolinas, California
- Robin D. Martin of Houston, Texas
Dillemuth also had eight grandchildren, and two sisters, Rachel Dillemuth (1917-1991) and Mabel D. Bruner, both of Pennsylvania.
Billy Hathorn, "The Republican Party in Louisiana, 1920-1980" (Master's thesis, Northwestern State University at Natchitoches, 1980)
"Charles 'Chuck' Dillemuth Dies", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, August 31, 1989
Dillemuth obituary, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, August 31, September 1, 1989
"Election Statistics, Congress, 1960", Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections