Tilley, Thomas Lee

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Thomas (Tom) Lee Tilley, 95, passed away Saturday September 21, 2019 in Beaufort, South Carolina. Born on Nov. 30, 1923, Tom was a lifelong resident of Radford, VA, with his happiest years being spent at his home on Claytor Lake with his loving wife Betty Jo.

After graduating from Radford High School, Tom joined the Army Air Corp Service. He was a veteran of the 5th Wing, 64th Group, 131st Squadron of the Army Airways Communication System. Tom achieved a Top Level Security Clearance due to the sensitive, cryptographic information he maintained during WWII.

After returning home from the war, he was employed with C & P Telephone Company and all continuous Bell System services, from 1941 until his retirement, 40 years later, in 1981.

Tom spent his retirement traveling, fishing, and attending RU, VA Tech, and Washington Redskins sporting events. His most enjoyed activity was planting and raising his large vegetable garden, then harvesting and sharing the vegetables with his family and neighbors.

He is preceded in death by his parents Ward M. And Theresa S. (Tress) Tilley; brother and sister-in-law Bernard E. and Christine H. Tilley; and his loving wife of 51 years, Betty Jo (B.J.) Rodeheaver Tilley.

Survivors include his daughter and her husband Lisa Lee and David McCartney of Beaufort, S.C.; his sister Mary Ward and her husband Dick Haislip of Va. Beach, Va.; five nephews and their wives.

A celebration of Tom’s life will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at the Mullins Funeral Home, 120 West Main St, Radford VA. Entombment will follow in the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin, VA, with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tom’s memory to Interior Design, Radford University Foundation, P.O. Box 6967 Radford, VA 24141.

The Tilley family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home and Crematory in Radford, VA.