John E. Tillman

John E. Tillman

John E. Tillman, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the day after his 92nd birthday, at Dubuque Specialty Care. To celebrate John’s life, private family services will be held because of the current gathering restrictions due to COVID-19. A Celebration of John’s Life, and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Patrick’s Church at a later time. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, is in charge of arrangements.

John was born on May 18, 1928, in St. Lucas, Iowa, son of Edward and Catherine (Kipp) Tillman.

John was united in marriage to Elizabeth “Betty” McPoland on November 22, 1956, at the Church of the Nativity, and they were blessed with 55 wonderful years together before she was sadly called home ahead of him on June 10, 2012. John devoted 36 years of his working career to the Dubuque Packing Company in the stockyards until his well earned retirement. He was a faith filled man who was a long time member of St. Patrick’s Church, where he volunteered his time assisting with the Wednesday night meals for the unemployed. He was also a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Legion of Mary, where he served as president, the Power of Prayer, and helped out with food donations at the Dubuque Area Labor Harvest. John was all about teaching others the skills he had learned throughout the years and was a long time Boy Scout leader. When he found some free time, John enjoyed camping, fishing and heading down to the river to watch the barges lock through. He was also a big NASCAR fan. John was known to occasionally head down to the casino to try his luck at, “winning the big bucks”, with family and friends. John was always a people person and enjoyed calling bingo for the residents at Heritage Manor and Dubuque Specialty Care. Trips to watch the Saints play were always a big hit, and he especially enjoyed watching his great-grandson play hockey with the Dubuque Devils. John also enjoyed a little quiet time sitting and working crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and sudoku. Beyond a doubt, John’s family was always his top priority, he loved spending time with them any chance he could. He liked playing cards and enjoyed Cribbage, but his favorite was a competitive game of Euchre, he even has the broken tables to prove it. We are deeply saddened at losing our father so close to our brother Leo, but take some comfort in the knowledge that they are now happily reunited in Heaven with all of our family members who have been called home ahead of us.

Those left to cherish John’s memory include

his children,
Rose (Rick) Pfeiler Follman, Dubuque, IA,
Francis (Maureen) Tillman, Bellevue, IA
and Vincent Tillman, Dubuque, IA;

his 10 grandchildren;

his 25 great-grandchildren;

and his siblings,
Alvera Kleve, Postville, IA,
Phyllis Massman, West Union, IA,
Robert (Cynthia) Tillman, Clairmont, IA
and Merle Tillman, Belvidere, IL.

John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Tillman; a daughter, Nancy Tillman; 2 sons, Thomas Tillman and Leo Tillman; a grandson, Timothy Tillman; 2 sisters, Dorothy (Romanus) Junk and Margarite (Donald) Stammeyer; 3 brothers, Joseph Tillman, Marcellus (Gertrude) Tillman and Herbert (Betty) Tillman; a sister-in-law, Pam Tillman; and 2 brothers-in-law, Marvin Kelve and Donald Massman.

John’s family wants to thank all the family and friends that have been there to support John throughout the years. We also want to thank Dr. Christopher Stille, and the nurses and staff of Heritage Manor, Dubuque Specialty Care, and Hospice of Dubuque, for all of your kindness and professional care of John.

Memorials will be accepted by the family and can be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, Attn. John Tillman Family, to be distributed among his favorite charities.


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One condolence for John E. Tillman
  1. Doug Daubenberger says:

    I always enjoyed seeing John when he would stop in my American Family Insurance office. He was a very pleasant man, always positive, fun to talk with, the world was a better place because of John. My condolence, he will be missed.

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