Mary Bernice Tillman was born August 16, 1922, in Widener, Arkansas to the late Lustus and Samantha Shelby. Mary had three brothers and was the only girl born to this union. As a child she loved shooting marbles with her brothers. Mary also loved to sing. Mary went to elementary school in Widener. Mary met and married Elliott Roseman and to this union four children were born, Juanita "Doll", Elliott "Man", Dorothy, and Mary-Ann. She later married James Tillman and to their union three children were born, Constance "Connie", James "Jimmy", and Tris.
Mary loved the Lord and was baptized at an early age at Riverside Baptist Church in Widener, Arkansas. She adhered to God's calling and was a faithful and dedicated servant of the Lord. Mary attended Friendship Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. E.C. Williams when she first came to Evanston in
1952. Mary eventually became an active member of Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in which Rev. L. M. Geter was the pastor. After the passing of Rev. Geter, Rev. Jerome Brown became the pastor and branched off from Springfield founding Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Mary not only moved
her membership to Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church, but was one of the advocates making it possible for service to be held at Dawes School. After a few years, Mary transferred her membership back to Springfield where she remained until it branched off into Oasis Christian Ministries International under
the leadership of Bishop Fred Harris.
Mary was very loving and giving. She had a big heart and was always going above and beyond to make sure those that didn't have had, even if it meant giving her last. Mary was employed as a caregiver for two families, the Penningtons and the Goodmans. Mary also worked at Marshfield for over 25 years before
retiring. Although she retired from Marshfield's she would return to work during the holiday season. Mary was very family oriented. Every holiday, the family would gather at her house for dinner and to enjoy time with one another. At the age of 75, she adopted her Great Grandson Navy Tillman.
On Sunday, April 25, 2021, Mary made her transition into her eternal life where she was reunited with her loving parents, Lustus and Samantha; four of her children, Elliott, Dorothy, Mary-Ann, and Tris; three brothers, Verlon, Robert, and Haston, and three great grands, Blake, Samantha, and Jerand.
Our beloved Mary leaves to cherish her memory and continue her legacy two daughters, Juanita "Doll" and Connie; one son, Jimmy; 21 grandchildren;55 great grands, 34 great-great grands; 2 great-great-great- grands; and a host of other loved ones please keep the family in your prayers.
Arrangements entrusted to Thompson Funeral & Cremation Services. Inc. Mr. Philip L. Gillette ~ Funeral Director
Due to Covid-19 we ask that while attending services that you please wear your mask and remember to social distance.
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