Herman Tillman, Jr., of Hazlehurst, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Hazlehurst, MS, on April 11, 2012 at 4:22pm.
Arrangements for Mr. Tillman will include visitation beginning at 1:00pm Friday, April 13 at the First Baptist Church in Hazlehurst with services to follow at 3:00pm. Dr. Robert Hanvey and Bro. John Matthews will officiate. Stringer Family Funeral Services in Hazlehurst is handling arrangements.
Mr. Tillman was born on January 10, 1936 in Hazlehurst. He is preceded in death by his parents, the late Herman Tillman, Sr. and Willie Nelson Tillman.
Mr. Tillman’s parents owned the local Hazle Hotel where they resided. His mother ran the hotel while his father was a conductor with the Illinois Central Railroad until his retirement.
He graduated from Hazlehurst High School and furthered his education at the University of Mississippi where he received a degree in business. Upon graduation he returned to Hazlehurst and took over a small used furniture business which his father had started in the back of the hotel. Mr. Tillman, Jr. would travel to New Orleans to purchase used furniture, which he would repair and sell in the hotel.
Eventually, the furniture business encompassed more and more of the hotel until finally the entire hotel consisted of a used furniture business. He gradually transitioned the used business into a new furniture business and named the enterprise Tillman Furniture Company. As income would allow, he branched out into Crystal Springs, Magee, McComb and finally, Brookhaven.
Mr. Tillman grew his business with a debt free philosophy, which still holds true today. He was the recipient of many recognition certificates, pins and honors during his 50 year career including the Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of the Wahabi Shriners and also a member of the First Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Shirley Puckett Tillman, as well as his daughters Julie Tillman Watson, son-in-law Robert Watson, and Anne Tillman; five grandchildren, Wynn Watson, Lauren Watson, Andrew Watson and twins, Allison and Anna Williams.
The family requests that any memorials be sent to the First Baptist Church of Hazlehurst or to the Palmer Home for Children, P. O. Box 746, Columbus, MS 39703-9983.