A life celebration will be held for John Tilley Jr., 81, of Roswell, at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 9, 2011, at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home. He passed away Monday, March 28, 2011, in the comfort of his home. John Tilley, the son of Hercel and Ennis Belle Birchfield Tilley, was born Sept. 11, 1929, in southern West Virginia in the sawmill community of Maben.
He grew up in the coal mining towns of Bud-Alpoca. He enlisted into the Air Force in 1947, and in early September 1948 flew from Goosebay, Labrador, in a B-29 bomber with the legendary Charles A. Lindberg at the controls, to Walker Air Force Base. John was assigned overseas seven times and retired in 1967 as a master sergeant. He enjoyed writing, coon hunting, horses, fishing. He was a past member of the Authors Guild.
John was the author of The Tom Jack, Tubar and Expose: The Roswell Incident, Corona Crash. He is survived by his wife Margaret; son Larry and wife Ruth Tilley, of Arlington, Texas; daughters, Charlotte and husband Fred Hopper, of Albuquerque, and Lois and husband Rambert Waid, of Roswell; one brother, five sisters, nine grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by wife Inez Pauline Tilley, granddaughter Bonnie Rhoades, his parents, eight brothers and one sister.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of John Tilley. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online register book at andersonbethany.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.