Bay City

Robert Dale Tillson

Tillson, Robert Dale
Swartz Creek, MI

Robert, a follower of his faith and storyteller – husband, father, grandpa, uncle, and friend, Robert “Bob” Tillson passed away in peace to meet all those who have gone before him on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at McLaren Hospital in Flint. Bob was born January 25, 1931 to John and Marion (Soule) Tillson and had one sister, Norma.

He and Elsie “Ellie” Vavricka were married on March 31, 1951 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Morrice, Michigan. Shortly after, he served his country in the 101st Airborne as a military police in Germany during the Korean War. Upon return, Bob and Ellie had their first daughter, Christina Marie in 1955 and second daughter, Julie Ann in 1957. Bob went to GMI and worked at General Motors as a General Foreman for 35 years. After retirement he continued working for GM as an independent contractor.

Together Bob and Ellie raised their family on Oakland Street, later moving to East Lansing Road making memories with great celebrations in their basement and around their pool in the summer. In his spare time, he enjoyed golfing, couples bowling leagues, hunting and fishing.

Bob had a great way of telling stories that could keep you captivated and enthralled – sharing about his days in the military, working at GM, or his days as a young boy. He had the gift of gab and was always curious about the world, always asking questions, always learning and never missing an opportunity to give advice or a little piece of wisdom to those he knew and loved. Bob and Ellie loved to travel, later in life exploring casinos in and around Michigan, especially enjoying his time traveling to Mississippi to visit friends.

As a testament of his faith, he was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church Durand for 63 years, serving as an usher for 60 years. He was a member of Knights of Columbus for the last 60 years serving as Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator and the Knights of Columbus District 2 Drill Team. Bob and Ellie served many roles over the years in the church including teaching catechism, serving at the Owosso K of C Fish Frys, and coordinators of the Senior Group planning dinners and overnight trips to the casino for the last 15 years.

One of the roles Bob loved best was being grandpa to Courtney (Brandon) Dirschell, Mollie (Tanner) Shay, Megan (Steve) Parker, Katie (Chris) Page and Jason Mulnix along with great grandchildren: Porter Shay, Julianna Page, Oliver Parker and two more great grand babies on the way.

Bob was surrounded in his death by the love of his life, Ellie of 67 years, and his daughters Christina and Julie. He has been preceded in death by his mother, father, sister, infant son and many brothers and sisters-in-law, and his son-in-law Michael Connelly.

To celebrate a life well lived in truth and love, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 A.M. , Saturday, June 2, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 700 E. Columbia Drive, Durand Michigan. The family will receive friends at the church on Friday, June 1, 2018 from 4:30 P.M. – 8 P.M. and on Saturday from 9:30 A.M. until the time of the service. A scripture service will be held on Friday at 7 P.M., followed by a K of C Fourth Degree Chalice Service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Durand MI. To sign the online guestbook visit Arrangements made with Hyatt Ewald Funeral Home, Bay City, Michigan. All sympathy store items must be sent directly to the church or the family home.