In - Always in our hearts

About him

Ronald Tilley

Ronald Tilley

Born: July 23rd, 1925

Passed on: September 3rd, 2017

On September 3, 2017 at 7:40 pm, at the merry age of 92, Ronald Henry Tilley passed peacefully into his eternal home in heaven. He had spent several weeks surrounded by loving family in hospice care in Virginia, after living the last 25 years in New Port Richey, Florida. He was born July 23, 1925 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. In Grace Hospital, because his mother hopped in the boat and was rowed over from Bell Island so her son could be born in the hospital instead of at home. A young Ron contracted polio and missed seven months of school due to the disease, however he credits his mother's daily massages with camphorated oil for his full recovery and in later years his thousands of kilometers walked in Volksmarches in Germany. Ron has extremely fond nostalgic memories of growing up in Newfoundland, and will be buried in the Field of Honor at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in St. John's. Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley and Ethel Tucker Tilley; his sister, Betty Tilley Collins; and the mother of his children and beloved wife of 40 years, E Ruth Taylor Tilley. He is survived by his wife of 25 years Marjorie Noel Tilley and her family (Bezanson), and his four children: Doug Tilley (Val) of Fairplay, CO; Betty Tilley Burke (Pat) of Lacombe, LA; Lisa Tilley Svendsen (Don) of Ashburn, VA; and Debra Tilley Johnson (Thomas) of Woodbridge, VA; 10 grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a bunch of beloved grand pets. Mr. Tilley graduated from Prince of Wales College in 1942, and attended Memorial University and Dalhousie University prior to joining the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served in the RCAF from 1943-1945, as a code operator tapping Japanese Wireless signals from the back of an airplane. He had several encounters with British Royalty before Newfoundland became a province of Canada. His memories of these years were still crystal clear to him at the end of his life and fond stories were shared with all he met who listened. Ron later worked for the United States Air Force as the Chief of Budget for Foreign Military Sales for 40 years. He was extremely proud of the work he did for the United States, and was honored with both the Outstanding Civilian and Meritorious Civilian Service Awards, for his dedication and integrity in his career of service. He retired at the Pentagon in 1988. Ron's career brought him from Newfoundland to New York with his best friend, Ed Curran. He then spent three years in Colorado Springs, and five years in Germany, before settling in Virginia for the remainder of his working years. After the death of his first wife, Ruth, and marriage to his second wife, Marjorie, who had been his childhood sweetheart, he moved to New Port Richey, Florida. His last change of residence was a fun 16 hour road trip to his daughter's residence to live his remaining days in hospice care, especially enjoying his role as Grampie. Mr. Tilley's love of great food began with the freshness of seafood and delicacies in his native Newfoundland. He knew what he liked to eat and exactly how he wanted it prepared, loved to cook, and eagerly instructed everyone in how to prepare his favorite foods. Ron was an incredible story teller with a memory for amazing detail, and his family will forever cherish the many awesome stories from his life that he shared and wrote. Ron Tilley was a man that lived what he believed. He believed in marriage and honored God's words in his marriage vows. Though not always a verbally expressive man, he enjoyed expressions of love through the giving of gifts. If it was on sale, he bought multiples. His family will forever treasure their flashlights and watches especially. In lieu of flowers, Ron specifically asked that you keep your money in your pocket, but his family values the incredible care given by his hospice providers and recommends hospice as a worthy donation recipient for those so inclined. There won't be a public memorial service, so everyone please enjoy a toast to Ron with a beer or glass of sweet red wine in his honor. His wishes are to be cremated and buried at "home", so we'll wait for the two weeks of summer they experience during the Regatta in St. John's next August to deliver his remains to their final resting place.