Reta Mary Tillitt, 97, of Beardstown passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, July 24, 2020, surrounded by her children.
She was born March 13, 1923, the youngest child of Frank and Della (Reeves) Caldwell.
She is survived by her three children, Buffy Tillitt-Pratt (Wayne), Cathy Megginson (Steve) and Shaver Tillitt. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Abby Pherigo (Randy), Trudy Pagano (Dan) and T.J. Pratt (fiancé Bri Arenz); 4 great-grandchildren, Lola Vanwinkle, Luke Pherigo, Loreli Pherigo, and Luciana Pagano, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and her darling dog Buddy.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn S. Tillitt, and her brothers and sisters, Jim Caldwell, Tom Caldwell, Liz Drinkwater, and Jeanette Kirchner.
Reta Mary worked many years at Tillitt Motor Company as faithful bookkeeper and later as a realtor with her daughter at Buffy Tillitt & Associates. She also enjoyed collecting and selling antiques at the Beardstown Antique Mall.
She was active in so many community organizations that it is difficult to name them all, but she was loyal in her support of the Beardstown community for all of her days. She served beside her husband as the mayor’s wife for three terms and handled compliments and complaints with grace and a sense of humor. Being very proud of her Catholic faith, she was a lifetime member of Saint Alexius Catholic Church where she sang in and directed the choir for many years.
Reta Mary handled everything with vigor and spunk in her life with her husband. Their honeymoon included a grizzly bear hunt in the untamed Alaska mountains, where they were once lost overnight in the treacherous wilderness. She loved many fishing trips as well. Working at the family business for over 40 years and being there to serve customers and friends was something she embraced and did without complaints.
Her most favored accomplishment was her family, because she always was able to put family first, and they knew it. She was so proud of her family that she entered her family in a nationwide contest for the All American Family and they won to represent Illinois in the national event. Her presence at games, plays and other events was appreciated by her kids and grandkids. Her love of animals showed as she cared for baby ducks, puppies, and kitties with the same attention as she did humans. She was loved and respected by many people in her amazing life.
A Funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, at Saint Alexius Catholic Church in Beardstown with burial at Saint Alexius Catholic Cemetery. For those who cannot attend, the Mass will be livestreamed on the Saint Alexius Catholic Church Facebook Page. A prayer service with The Rosary will be conducted at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Saint Alexius followed by a formal visitation from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Saint Alexius Catholic Church.
Memorials are suggested to Saint Alexius Catholic Church or Beardstown Opera House. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.sagerfuneralhome.com. Sager Funeral Home in Beardstown is in charge of the arrangements.