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Rebecca B. Tillotson, 73, of Hope, MI, died unexpectedly July 12, 2019. She was born November 12, 1945, to Whitney and Verna (Oldenburg) Barnum in Wilson, NY. She grew up on a dairy farm and was very active in 4H – showing her heifer at the fair, sewing, and square dancing. Her high school involvement included cheerleading, school plays, class officer, and many clubs. She married Richard J. Tillotson on October 24, 1964, and graduated with her nursing degree from Alfred University in 1968. She worked in Crookston, MN, Lansing, MI, and Macomb, IL, in the OB and ER departments during her nursing career. In 1971, after hearing a sermon on salvation, she accepted the Lord as her Savior. That event changed her life. As a born-again sinner, her love for life and people was amplified.

She was involved in church ministries as pianist and Christian school teacher in MN and IL. In the last four years, she served with Women for Missions, the tract ministry, and full-time volunteer in the Educational Support Program at Calvary Baptist Academy.

She exhibited a wonderful gift of hospitality, impacting countless people over the years. Her happy, caring, loving personality brightened the lives of those around her and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her spouse of 54 years, Buck Tillotson, their children Jim (Joan) Tillotson, Amber (Toby) Thoelcke, and Sarah (Matt) Bright, ten grandchildren, and her brother Harlos (Pam) Barnum. Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Carrie Elledge, and her brother and sister-in-law Lynn and Mary Ellen Barnum.

In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to give to the Educational Support Program at Calvary Baptist Academy of Midland, MI where she invested her heart.

The funeral service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church of Midland, MI on Wednesday, July 17th at 4:30 p.m. with visitation half an hour prior. Friends may visit with the family at Smith-Miner Funeral Home on Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m.

Becky will be laid to rest at New Hope Cemetery of Hope, MI at a later date.

Condolence Messages

  1. Ella J Payment

    20 July 2019 2 years ago

    Though years and places have separated us, you have all been dear to my heart. Love and prayers be with you.

  2. John and Colleen Carlson

    19 July 2019 2 years ago

    Buck and family, so sorry to hear of Becky’s passing. Your family is in our prayers. John and Colleen Carlson

  3. Barbara Stein

    17 July 2019 2 years ago

    To Buck and family,

    I am very sorry to hear about Becky’s death. She was a role model for all of us. I appreciated her sense of humor and I look forward to seeing her again! I am praying for all of you!

  4. Pam and Harlos

    17 July 2019 2 years ago

    We will miss you, dear sister, but know we will meet you in a better place. Rest In Peace. Our love to all of your family and friends. We love you, Becky, and have lots of wonderful memories of our special times together.

    Please safe us a spot!!!!
    Pam and Harlos

  5. Erin Stein-Jones

    17 July 2019 2 years ago

    I am so sorry to hear of Mrs. Tillotson’s passing. I will always remember her kindness when my family and I visited and later moved to Colchester. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  6. Ruthann Dawley

    16 July 2019 2 years ago

    Our heartfelt sympathies to the entire family. Our hearts grieve with yours. We wish we could attend the funeral but will be praying for you all, especially in the days and weeks ahead. May the Lord Himself be your daily strength and comfort. May He use Becky’s home going for His honor and the furthering of His glorious Gospel and for multiplied service for Him in the lives of each of us, His children.

    Clifton and Ruthann Dawley
    Rochester Hills, Michigan

  7. melaniejane barnum

    16 July 2019 2 years ago

    I am sad I will not be able to see my sister again- she was kind and had an amazing laugh. I have a rose plant I cherish that she and buck verufied I could plant in the outside dirt.
    Grief has it’s ways. I just want anyone who reads this to know that, although I am “technically” Rebecca’s half sister, for my whole life she is my sister.
    I’m so sad and sorry for my loss and yours.

  8. Jim Randolph

    15 July 2019 2 years ago

    What a wonderful Christian lady who found great fulfillment in knowing Christ! She has certainly left a legacy to many that will honor and glorify God. Our sympathy and condolences are with Dr Jim Tillotson, President of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary and Joan, children, extended family and friends. Our prayers are with you!
    Jim Randolph
    Chairman of the Board of Directors
    FBBC & TS

  9. Mike and Charlotte Nelson

    15 July 2019 2 years ago

    We are so sorry for your loss. Becky was such a joy to be around. We have many good memories from when you attended First Baptist in Colchester. Lots of stories in our Sunday school class. You are in our prayers.

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