Lawrence Tilley

Lawrence Robert Tilley was born on a farm southeast of Lohrville on August 13, 1934 to Virgil William Tilley and Hattie Edith Kenyon Tilley. He was the oldest of three children. He had one brother, Robert William and one sister, Betty Jean. He departed this life January 19, 2016 at the Regency Park Care Center in Jefferson, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 81 years, 5 months and 6 days.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Churdan with Rev. David Arulnathan officiating. Following the service, his remains were cremated and burial will take place at a later date in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Musical selections “In the Garden”, “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace” were sung by the congregation and accompanied by organist, Janice Tilley. Military rites were conducted at the church by the Churdan American Legion.  A visitation was held one hour prior to the service at the church. Serving as casket bearers were Brandon Tilley, Joel Kelly, Steve Oswald, Dennis Tilley, David Tilley and Doug Sorenson. Honorary casket bearers were Sarah Kelly, Nicole Oswald and Emma Tilley, Duane Clark, Steve Sorenson and Kay Bates.

Lawrence started school in Lohrville. When he was seven years old, they moved to a farm southeast of Churdan. He went to Churdan High School. In school, he played the trombone and was on the baseball team.  Lawrence helped his parents on the farm. He helped take care of the chickens, cows, and their one white horse. He also helped his dad in the fields. Lawrence graduated Churdan High School in May of 1955. He also met Betty Lou Fox in the same year. They were married on June 17, 1956 at Salem United Methodist Church in Paton. They made their home across the road from his parents.  In January 1957, Lawrence had to report to the army. He was sent to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas for boot camp. After boot camp he was sent to Fort Smith, Arkansas and then transferred to Lawton, Oklahoma. They stayed at Fort Sill. He worked as a mechanic in the army. In the fall of 1958, he got an early discharge to help his dad harvest. They moved back across the road from his parents. On May 26, 1960 his first child, Mark Eugene Tilley, was born. On October 28, 1961 his second child was born, Debra Lynn Tilley. In March of 1964, the family moved to a farm west of Churdan. They farmed there until 1982 when they moved to a farm southwest of Paton. Lawrence would take his family on vacation every summer and he loved restoring old cars. Lawrence retired in 2001 and moved to his current home here in town. During winter months, he worked at Whites Service in Churdan, drove a LP truck for Big 4 Co-op and helped Duane (Shorty) Clark and Les Picht in their shop as a mechanic.

Lawrence is survived by his wife, Betty, who is currently a resident at the Regency Park Care Center in Jefferson; a son, Mark and his wife, Melinda, of Jefferson and their children, Brandon of Iowa City and Emma of Ames; and a daughter, Debra Bauer and her husband, Warren of Fort Dodge and their daughters, Sarah Kelly and her husband, Joel, of Omaha and Nicole Oswald and her husband, Steven, of Manson and their children, Ella and Kenton. Those who preceded him in death were his parents, a brother, Robert and a sister, Betty Sorenson.

The Tilley family would like to give special thanks to Kay Bates for all of her help and assistance during Lawrence and Betty’s illnesses during the past years.

The Brown Funeral Home of Churdan assisted the family with arrangements.

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Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161