John Allen Drilling, age 81 of Smyrna died Friday February 15, 2018. He was a native of Oakland, CA and was the son of the late, Arthur Bernard Drilling and Florida Francis Harris Drilling. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and was a member of Otesaga-Marion Lodge Masonic Lodge in Bronx, New York. Mr. Drilling was a Bridgeman and Ironworker. He worked on the construction of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. He then moved to New York City, joining Ironworkers Local 361. He worked on numerous bridges, nuclear power houses and skyscrapers. He was a superintendent on One Penn Plaza and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. He was interviewed by author Gay Talese for The Bridge, a book about the construction of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. He ended his career working on the Twin Towers. He moved to Russellville, Arkansas in 1975 to build towboats and barges on the Arkansas River. He was also a licensed riverboat captain.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan Drilling; daughters, Delia Cook McBride and husband Chris, Gwen Noe and husband Troy; grandchildren, Kristin Rose, Matthew Noe and wife Kaitlyn, Tyler Noe, John Noe; Jamie Melton and wife Brooke, Landon McDaniel and wife Aubrey, Tristan McDaniel; seven great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be 2PM until 4PM Wednesday at Woodfin Chapel, Smyrna Funeral Service will be 4PM Wednesday at Woodfin Chapel, Smyrna. www.woodfinchapel.com.