Herman Tillman Jr.

Published 8:00 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

Herman Tillman Jr., beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at his home in Hazlehurst on April 11, 2012, at 4:22 p.m.

     Arrangements for Mr. Tillman will include visitation beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, April 13, at the First Baptist Church in Hazlehurst, with services to follow at 3 p.m. Dr. Robert Hanvey and the Rev. John Matthews will officiate. Stringer Family Funeral Services in Hazlehurst is in charge of arrangements.

     He was born in Hazlehurst on Jan. 10, 1936. He is preceded in death by his parents, Herman Tillman Sr. and Willie Nelson Tillman.

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     Mr. Tillman’s parents owned the local Hazle Hotel where they resided. His mother ran the hotel while his father was a conductor for 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. traveled to New Orleans to purchase used furniture, which he repaired and sold 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 Wahabi Shriners and 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.