George's Story

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George Tillis passed away Aug. 24 after 91 years of a full and happy life. He was born in Gainesville, Fla. to Harry and Eunice Tillis and was one of five children. He is survived by his older sister, Bessie (Lee) Crouch, and younger sister, Hazel Self; son, David (Judy); daughter, Amy Tillis Watkins Vazquez; daughter, Allyson (Fred) Wright; grandson, Griffin (Rosie) Tillis; granddaughter, Austin Tillis Dietly (Josh); granddaughter, Ashli Tillis Wilds (Matt); great grandsons, Evan, Jackson and Owen Wilds; grandson, Michael Greene; and great granddaughters, Mason and Ember Greene. He was preceded in death by his son, Wayne "Biff" Tillis; wife, Muriel Tillis; and grandson, Marine Cpl. Joshua Watkins, killed in action in Iraq. These losses devastated him and he cherished their memories.
He was a WWII Army combat veteran having served in the 42nd Infantry Division and fought in the Rhineland Central Europe campaign. After fighting their way through France and into Germany, they liberated Dachau. After returning home from the war he met and married Gail Parker, the mother of his three children, Biff, David and Amy. In 1974 he married Muriel Sharp and with her came four children, among them Allyson. They moved shortly thereafter to Baldwin County.
He was a printer by trade and retired from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution but he was a jack of all trades by practice. He could build or fix almost anything. He spent his time since retiring in 1988 farming and helping neighbors. He never met a stranger and had the good fortune of several enduring friendships over the years. He was a simple man who valued hard work, friendship and family. He will be sorely missed.
He loved children but adored babies -- no matter whose they were. Most children knew him as PapaT. He believed God allowed him to live as long as he did to take care of his great granddaughters Mason and Ember, whom he loved dearly.
The family will hold a memorial service and celebration of George's life at 3 p.m. Nov. 4, at Salem Baptist Church located at 126 Salem Church Road, Milledgeville. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to St. Jude Children's Hospital, George's favorite charity.
Published on October 27, 2017
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