JAMES O. TILLMAN, 91, of Jackson passed away at his residence on Wednesday, November 17, 2010. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, November 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Jackson, with Father Larry Brixius officiating, with Military Honors at the Church following the ceremony. Inurnment will be at a later date in Sunset Cemetery – Jackson. Visitation will be on Sunday at the Osterberg Funeral Home from 3 to 5 PM with a Rosary at 5 PM and on Monday – one hour prior to the service at the Church.
James Otto Tillman, 91, was born in Minneapolis, MN, on August 23, 1919, to Otto J. and Marjorie L. (Madsen) Tillman. He attended school in Minneapolis, graduating from Minneapolis West High School and later from the University of Minnesota. He died at his home in Jackson, MN, on November 17, 2010, after a short illness.
He served in the Navy during World War II and was a navigator aboard PBY anti-submarine flights out of North Africa over the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. After the war, he remained in the navy as part of the Naval Supply Corp. On July 20, 1946, he was united in marriage to Mary Jane Doherty at St. Kevin’s Catholic Church (now Our Lady of Peace) in Minneapolis. Together they were transferred to various Naval Air Stations in the US and Cuba over the next ten years until he resigned his commission in 1956 after 14 years of service.
After the Navy, James joined Univac, at that time a minor division of the Remington Rand business machine corporation, in their Roseville, MN, manufacturing operations. Over the next 31 years, as the Univac division grew to surpass the rest of the company, he moved up in the company, transferring in 1965 to Utica, NY, and in 1967 to Philadelphia, PA, plants. In 1968 he was placed in charge of opening a new manufacturing plant in Jackson, MN, to produce the “printed circuit assemblies” (computer boards) used to build main frame computers. He was Plant Manager of the Jackson Operations of Sperry Univac until shortly before he retired in 1986.
James always had a love for the land and animals. Upon moving to Jackson he finally had the opportunity to acquire a farm to raise the crops and livestock as he had always dreamed of doing. Though his farm was a small operation, he was able to indulge his passion for the land and growing things and teach gardening to his grandchildren.
James is survived by his son, Frederick (Elizabeth) of Jackson and grandchildren James A. and Jocelyn Tillman; a brother, Richard (Monica) Tillmann and their children of Grafton, WI. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Mary, in 2005; his parents in 1978 and 2001 and one sister, Phyllis, of Hemet, CA in 2008.