Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Charles “Buddy” Frank Tillman, 81, Keokuk


Charles “Buddy” Frank Tillman, kept the faith and finished his course to be with the Lord on October 4, 2018 at Lexington Square Rehabilitation Center in Keokuk, IA.

He was born on May 5, 1937 in St. Joseph, MO, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Tillman.  On November 28, 1982, Charles was united in marriage to Sylvia Clark Jenkins and they shared over 36 years of love, laughter and family together.  Charles was previously married to Mary Tillman and Betty Tillman.


Charles (Buddy) served four years in the United States Air Force where he worked in air freight and transportation.  His missions took him to France, Belgium, Germany, and Tripoli.

He had been employed at Armour Dial Corporation in Fort Madison and retired in 1999.  While working at Armour Dial he was one of the Union Stewards in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha.

Buddy was a faithful member of God’s Way Christian Center.  As an advisor to Pastor Sylvia Tillman, Buddy also served on the board of God’s Way.  As a devoted trustee, Buddy enjoyed driving the church van, being a church greeter, and being a communion attendant for many years.

Buddy played minor league baseball as a catcher in St. Joseph, Missouri for many years.  He was passionate about watching his favorite sports teams, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Cubs, during good times and bad, and Cleveland Cavaliers.  He was also a fan of Tiger Woods, LeBron James and the 90’s Chicago Bulls.  Buddy enjoyed country living and working in the yard, keeping his lawn perfectly manicured.  Buddy was a wonderful, devoted husband, dad and grandpa, treasuring joyful times spent with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Tillman of Keokuk, seven children, Charles Jr (Denise) Tillman, Tim Tillman, Tina (Lew Hillary) Tillman, Patricia Tillman, Monique (Limeul) Flowers, Thomas (Jenny) Jenkins-Tillman and Luther Starks, two brothers,  Roland (Roberta) Tillman and Ronald (Louise Rucker) Tillman, two sisters, Forestine (Clarence) Mabin, and Genevieve Bundy, two sisters-in-law, Rose and Marcene Tillman, fourteen grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Tony Tillman, two sisters, Beatrice Ewing and Belva Tillman and two brothers, Henry and Robert Tillman.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, October 15, 2018 at the First Christian Church in Keokuk with Pastor Mary E. McDonald officiating.

There will be no formal visitation.

Memorials may be made to God’s Way Christian Center Outreach Ministries and Transitional Housing.

The Tillman family would like to give a special thanks, saluting Snake Alley Rehabilitation, HCI Hospice Care Services, Lexington Square Care Facility, and Vigen Memorial Home for their outpouring love, support and care given to Buddy throughout his journey.

The Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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