CLAYTON, NY — Michael G. Tillman, 62, Clayton, affectionately known as Mike Jones, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, Mau 28, 2023, at his family cottage on Point Peninsula. Mike was a devoted husband, son, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
Mike was born Jan. 9, 1961, in Watertown, the son of Wayne and Celine (Allen) Tillman. He attended Indian River Central School and later received his GED.
His first job was delivering oil for his father before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1983. He was honorably discharged in 1986, serving in the reserves until April 26, 1989.
On Aug. 22, 1986, he married Cathy A. Williamson in Chaumont, NY.
During that year he started working for Busler & Huddleston Oil, alongside his brothers, which later became Tillman Oil Co. Mike left the family business in 1999 to attend SUNY Canton, where he graduated with honors with a degree in Manufacturing Technology. He then worked for Stebbins Engineering from 2002 to 2007, and for Griffith Energy from 2008 until his retirement in December 2022.
Mike was a member of the Clayton United Methodist Church and former member of the Clayton Lions Club. He was a lineman for the Watertown Red and Black for the 1979 & 1980 championship seasons. He was a master brewer and recently enjoyed learning the art of distilling. Mike found joy in making homemade “grandpa pizza” with his family, water skiing and tubing at the toad hole, watching the Buffalo Bills with his wife, and hanging out at the Genesee Brewery with his daughter. Mike was an avid Trekkie and was known for his convincing Sasquatch yell. He was a big kid at heart and enjoyed having a good time and making people laugh.
Along with his wife, Cathy, Mike is survived by his mother, Celine Tillman, Theresa, NY; son, Ryan M. Tillman and wife Megan, Prosper, TX; a daughter, Katelyn E. Tillman and partner Luke Arndt, Rochester, NY; two grandsons, Lincoln and Knox Tillman, Prosper, TX; his dog – CoCo, Clayton, NY; three siblings – Christine Tillman, Mark Tillman and wife Lisa, and Richard Tillman and wife Amber – all of Theresa; two aunts, one uncle, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
His father predeceased him.
Calling hours will be held 4 to 7 p.m. June 5, 2023, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton. The funeral service will be 1 p.m. June 6, 2023, at the Clayton United Methodist Church with Pastor Earl LaLone presiding.
Donations in Mike’s name may be made to Clayton Fire Dept., 855 Graves St., Clayton, NY 13624, Chaumont Fire Dept., P. O. Box 129, Chaumont, NY 13622, or Three Mile Bay Fire Dept., P. O. Box 419, Three Mile Bay, NY 13693.
Online condolences may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.