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Michael G. Tillman

May 28, 2023

Michael G TillmanMichael G. Tillman, 62, of Clayton, affectionately known as Mike Jones, passed away unexpectedly at his family cottage on Point Peninsula, Sunday, May 28, 2023.  Mike was a devoted husband, son, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Mike was born in Watertown, NY, on January 9, 1961, to Wayne and Celine (Allen) Tillman. He attended Indian River Central School and later received his GED.

His first job was delivering oil for his father before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1983. He was honorably discharged in 1986, serving in the reserves until April 26, 1989. On August 22, 1986 he married Cathy A. Williamson in Chaumont, NY. 

During that year he started working for Busler & Huddleston Oil, alongside his brothers, which later became Tillman Oil Co.  Mike left the family business in 1999 to attend SUNY Canton, where he graduated with honors with a degree in Manufacturing Technology.  He then worked for Stebbins Engineering from 2002 to 2007, and for Griffith Energy from 2008 until his retirement in December 2022.

Mike was a member of the Clayton United Methodist Church and former member of the Clayton Lions Club. He was a lineman for the Watertown Red and Black for the 1979 & 1980 championship seasons. He was a master brewer and recently enjoyed learning the art of distilling.  Mike found joy in making homemade “grandpa pizza” with his family, water skiing and tubing at the toad hole, watching the Buffalo Bills with his wife, and hanging out at the Genesee Brewery with his daughter. Mike was an avid Trekkie and was known for his convincing Sasquatch yell. He was a big kid at heart and enjoyed having a good time and making people laugh.

Along with his wife, Cathy, Mike is survived by his mother, Celine Tillman, Theresa, NY; son, Ryan M. Tillman and wife Megan, Prosper, TX; daughter, Katelyn E. Tillman and partner Luke Arndt, Rochester, NY; two grandsons, Lincoln and Knox Tillman, Prosper, TX; his dog - CoCo, Clayton, NY; three siblings - Christine Tillman, Mark Tillman and wife Lisa, and Richard Tillman and wife Amber - all of Theresa; two aunts, one uncle, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. His father predeceased him.

Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton on June 5, 2023 from 4 - 7 PM. The funeral service will be June 6, 2023 at 1pm at the Clayton United Methodist Church with Pastor Earl LaLone presiding. Donations in Mike’s name may be made to Clayton Fire Dept., 855 Graves St., Clayton, NY 13624, Chaumont Fire Dept., P. O. Box 129, Chaumont, NY 13622, or Three Mile Bay Fire Dept., P. O. Box 419, Three Mile Bay, NY 13693. Online condolences to his family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com


#18 Joanne Thornton 2023-06-09 08:36
I just learned of Mike's passing. To all the Tillman family my prayers are with you.

He is one thought away. ~~~~~
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#17 Frank Delles 2023-06-07 15:20
Mike was the heart of Big Wheelie and the Hub Caps.
He will be sadly missed...!!!!
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#16 Craig Thornton 2023-06-07 11:21
My condolences to the Tillman family. So sorry for your loss. I remember Mike as so friendly and easy going. I hope memories of him help you in this difficult time.
Craig Thornon
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#15 Corrina Wilcox 2023-06-06 09:31
Cathy and Family,
So incredible sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. My heart goes out to you and your family. Prayers for peace and love during this difficult time.
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#14 Cynthia Dodge 2023-06-05 14:55
Cathy sorry to hear about Mike. Thinking of you and youyour family.
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#13 B Fleming 2023-06-05 12:54
As former Toad Hole neighbors. Michael was a great guy. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and or share his wisdom with me and my family. Our deepest condolences to Cathy and family.
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#12 Meg Docteur 2023-06-05 08:35
Tillman family, so sorry for your loss. Mike was a gem. Sending lots of love.
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#11 David Bates 2023-06-03 10:43
I was saddened and truly shocked to learn of Mike's passing. My fondest memories of Mike were when he was slolom skiing behind Wayne's boat in the Toad Hole going round and round on only one ski. In later years as service manager at Griffith Energy he managed some furnace work at our house. Always cheerful and easy to be around. Way too young to leave his family and this world. A really terrific guy. Condolences to Cathy, Celine, his children and extended family. He will be missed.
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#10 Kathy Dyer 2023-06-01 20:37
Tillman family, so sorry to hear of Mikes passing.
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#9 Tim Aiken 2023-06-01 20:02
My heartfelt sympathy for the Tillman family. Mike was a good person and his passing leaves me greatly saddened.
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