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Safely Home — Family and friends I am home in Heaven, dear ones; Oh, so happy and so bright! There is perfect joy and beauty in this everlasting light. All the pain and grief is over, every restless tossing passed; I am now at peace forever, Safely home in Heaven at last.
Bill Tilden was born Sept. 16, 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa, to Harry Edward and Lucille Safrona. Tilden passed away Friday night June 10, 2011 in his home of St. James City, Fla., in the arms of his wife Mike (Delores Jean Butts) of 56 years. The love story does not end here.
Bill was a Willis graduate of 1951; he attended Ohio Wesleyan University for one year before entering in the U.S. Army in August of 1953-1955. Tilden was one of 13 men chosen to be Guinea pigs for the U. S. Army’s experiment with food rations — this was a study conducted to find out how little a soldier could be fueled on and still perform his duties. Bill was exceptionally proud because doctors also thought the findings could help and treat sick and injured persons.
Bill was simply “pure joy!” A very uplifting man, easy to talk to, loved his family dearly, along with his faith in God always being present. He lived with zest and appreciated Gods littlest and biggest miracles from stars and storms in the sky to grass growing. He loved working the land; Bill farmed in his early-married years, yes with his beloved wife Mike always by his side.
Tilden was a great storyteller. He exploded with enthusiasm, eyes wide open, hands in the air, a big smile on his face and laughter in his voice. He was a great listener, always happy, gentle, caring — a kind man who gave great advice, too!
What made Bill tick? Family, friends and of course music. He loved singing and playing songs out of his “Old red song book.” He played the six-string guitar, banjo, harmonica and the ukulele with his mom, Fron. Bill’s kids loved camping watching Dad play and Mom tap dance on top of picnic tables — lots and lots of fun! Camping is now a treasured adventure throughout all family members. Bill loved the great outdoors. Bill eventually moved from the farm to the City of Delaware where he worked for OWU grounds and maintenance. Bill was a positive thinker and had an outgoing spirit, the kind of guy who made you feel happy every time you were around him. Friends were many over the years; Bill also had loving canine companions — Mandy was his No. 1 girl. In his later years Bill hung out in his garage listening to the radio and welcoming new and old friends in with his “Morning, Morning” hello.
Bill Tilden is survived by his wife, Mike; a son, Scott Tilden (Marsha) of Delaware; two daughters, Lori Tilden Poling (Poppy) of Delaware and Amy Hagelgans (Steve) also of Delaware; a sister, Elizabeth Kenneweg (Daryl) of Butler; seven grandchildren, Chad Poling (Ashley), Charlie Manges (Nate), Michael Tilden, Jennifer Tilden, Jaclyn Tilden, Scott Hagelgans and Stephanie Hagelgans; and two nephews and one niece along with their families. Bill was also excited about the arrival of his soon to be first great-granddaughter.
Bill has a heart of Gold and will never be forgotten! I can hear him now from Heaven, “Morning Morning, XX’s and OO’s, Never a Goodbye, just a See’ya Later.”
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