Chinook lost a beloved husband, incredible father, doting grandfather, loyal brother, dear uncle, proud volunteer and handy man extraordinaire. Dwight Thomas Tilleman passed away on November 3, 2021 at the age of 76, after a ten-year battle with Hodgkin’s and Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and related complications.
Tom was born to Charles and Beulah (Willman) Tilleman, the seventh of seven boys on January 26, 1945 in Chinook, Mont.
Tom spent his childhood fifteen miles south of Chinook on the family farm. At a young age, he started running machinery and helping maintain the family farm. It is there that he developed an unparalleled work ethic and discovered his talent for pinpointing a problem and repairing it. This ability to trouble shoot and repair served him well over the years he spent repairing appliances and helping many friends, neighbors and relatives with home, auto and equipment issues.
Tom has fond memories of growing up with his six siblings and attending a one-room elementary school before heading to Chinook High School. In his sophomore year, he met Katherine Louise Hendrickson and it was love at first sight. They wed on April 25, 1964 and enjoyed 57 years of marriage.
Those years included time in Shelby, Mont., a return to the family farm, opening of Tilleman Appliance and many years spent in bleachers across the state watching their children and grandchildren participate in athletics. Tom was a member of the Army National Guard, the Jaycees and participated in the Lewis & Clark Honorary Expedition. He was Scout Master of Troop 448 and served in numerous roles volunteering for the Chinook Senior Citizen Center.
Over the years, Tom enjoyed a wide variety of hobbies, including painting, woodworking, mechanics, ceramics, blacksmithing, hunting, taxidermy, cooking, gardening, collecting, sewing and traveling.
Tom was always willing to lend a helping hand. As the saying goes, he never met a stranger, just a friend he had not met yet. Throughout his life, he was hungry to learn and try new adventures. His witty one-liners and sense of humor brought smiles and laughter to those around him.
Tom was blessed with a large extended family and thoroughly enjoyed family gatherings and standing behind the grill cooking for those in attendance.
He is survived by his wife Kitty, his children and their families, Thomas and Dee Tilleman (Daniel and Katie), Roxanne and Kevin Engellant (JT, Emily, Madison & Kale and Courtney and Kyler), his beloved dog Baxter, brothers Doug (Martha), Dick (Vernelia), Dwain (Betty), and many special nieces and nephews.
Memorial services celebrating Tom will be held in the spring. Details to follow at a later date.
Donations in memory of Tom can be sent to Friends of the Pools & Park Foundation or the Chinook Senior Citizen Center in Chinook, Mont.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dwight "Tom" Tilleman, please visit our floral store.