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Lois “Gene” Tillman, of Hornell

HORNELL-Lois “Gene” Tillman, lifelong resident of the Hornell area, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ late Sunday evening (April 26, 2015) at the age of 88.

Gene was born in South Hornell, N.Y. on Sept. 14, 1926 and was a daughter of Howard H. and Ione Butler Hunt. She moved to Canisteo, N.Y. in 1932 where she attended Canisteo Central School until 1943 before moving back to Hornell and graduating from Hornell Senior High School, class of 1944. Gene attended and graduated from Rochester Business Institute in 1946 as a medical secretary. She worked in Rochester as a dental assistant and secretary. After returning to Hornell in 1948, she was employed by the Erie Railroad Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen as a secretary.

She was married May 3, 1952 to Lawrence “Larry” L. Tillman. Gene lived in Memphis, Tenn. and Morehead, N.C. with her husband during his service with the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. Gene and Larry returned to Hornell in 1954 where they raised their family.

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, two sons, Richard (Mary Lea) Tillman of Metairie, La. and Thomas (Holly) Tillman of Montoursville, Pa.; one daughter, Cheryl (Eugene) Mastin of Hornell. Gene has six grandchildren, Rachel (Matthew) Holcomb of Williamsport, Pa., Jason Tillman of New Orleans, La., Katie (Joshua) Myers of Williamsport, Pa., Jonathan (Janine) Tillman of Severna Park, Md., James Tillman of New Orleans, La. and Nicole Mastin of Hornell; she also has 10 great-grandchildren, Tyler, Ryley, Alex and Ethan Holcomb, Aviel and Gabe Myers, Jack, Jude, Julia and Jocelyn Tillman. Also surviving are two brothers, H. Wilbur (Clara) Hunt and W. Frank (Ann) Hunt; sister, Alice Dwyer; sister-in-law, Florence (Loren) Clark; and several nieces and nephews.

Gene was predeceased by her parents, Howard and Ione Hunt; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Marilyn Hunt; brother-in-law, Mike Dwyer; mother-in-law, Edith Tillman; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Lucille and Glen Erway; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Raymond and Betty Tillman.

Gene was employed by the Hornell Camp Fire Girls Council from 1970-1980, as well as volunteering her time as a Camp Fire Girls Leader. She worked at Steuben-Allegany BOCES in Bath from 1980-1982. She was finally employed as a secretary of the Maintenance Division of the NYS Dept. of Transportation in Hornell from 1982 until she retired in July of 1981.

Gene was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend to many. She loved spending time with family and friends, flower gardening, traveling and was an avid Hornell Red Raider Football fan. She was a member of the Hornell First Baptist Church, a charter member of the Country Y’s Line Dancers and former member of the Country Couples Dance Group. More recently she became a member of the Hornell Christian Women’s Breakfast Club and the Canisteo Valley Red Hat Ladies Society.

The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of Lois “Gene” Tillman.

Calling hours are 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. Friends are invited to meet her family at the Hornell First Baptist Church, 28 Church St., Hornell where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, with Pastor Cedric Cooper officiating. Interment will be in Glen View Cemetery, Pulteney.

In lieu flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to the Hornell First Baptist Church, 28 Church St., Hornell, N.Y. 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home and the church.

Online condolences or remembrances of Gene are welcomed at

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