Ada V. Tillery died in Rockford, Illinois on Saturday, September 28, 2019, surrounded by family. Born in Nokomis, Illinois on August 8, 1923, she was predeceased by her husband of sixty-six years, Donald Tillery and her sons, Michael Tillery and David Tillery.
When Ada was thirteen years old her mother died, leaving her to care for her two little brothers and a baby sister. She raised and cared for them as her own children. Despite her obligations at home, she graduated number one in her high school class. She and her beloved husband raised four sons, stressing that hard work, education and continuous, life-long learning are essential ingredients of success in life. She was the matriarch of a large, extended family, including her four sons, fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
She and Donald primarily raised their family in the little farming community of Divernon, Illinois. There she worked for years as the managing cashier of the Community Bank of Divernon. In that post she became aware of elderly shut-ins living alone in the little town. At Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter she cooked two meals, one for all the Divernon folks who lived alone and a second one for her own family.
After she and Donald retired in 1984 they moved to Rockford, Illinois to be closer to their sons Michael and David. Jeff and family soon followed. For over 30 years her Rockford home continued to be the focal point of large family gatherings as she watched it grow year after year. She was happiest when she was surrounded by and cooking for her family during each holiday season. She was an avid reader, reading at least two to three books a week over the last seventy five years. At an early age while listening to her mother play piano, she developed a lifelong love of classical music which she shared with her children.
Her closest survivors include her brother, John Waters of Terre Haute, Indiana; her sons, Stephen M. Tillery of St. Louis, Missouri and Dr. Jeffry M. Tillery of Dunlap, Illinois.
A memorial party (no tears) will be held at Francesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, Illinois at noon on Saturday, October 12, 2019.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Rockford Rescue Mission, or a charity of your choice.