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Joyce (Crosby) Tillman
March 23, 1937 ~ July 14, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
Announcing with sadness the homegoing of Joyce Anne Crosby Tillman age 86 on July 14, 2023. She received her angel wings after an extended illness at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia and the Pavilion in Baxley, Georgia.
Mrs. Tillman was born in Brunswick, Georgia on March 23, 1937 to the late Trudy Beatrice McGuire Crosby (Shot Lady) and the late Edward Aaron Crosby (Ed). She was preceded in death by her husband and love of her life, Needham Elliott Tillman, her brother Jerry Crosby, and her parents. She was the daughter in-law of Malcolm and Bessie Tillman. She is survived by her children, Stephen Tillman and Stephanie Tillman Mincey; her grandchildren, Madison Mincey and Breanna Mincey along with a host of nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
She was an alumnus of Appling County High School as well as Tift College and Georgia Southern Teachers College. She chose education as her profession and she was actively involved for 39 years in education. She was fortunate to have been chairman of the Appling County Board of Education.
Joyce and Needham married on June 29, 1958. It was such an affair that the church caught fire during the reception. They made their home in Brunswick, Georgia before returning to Appling County to make their permanent residence on 144 in Surrency, Georgia.
The priority of her life was her church, Baxley’s First Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School for over 55 years including classes from the cradle to the seniors. She served on many committees too. She was active in the First Baptist Church’s Julia Jarmen Circle WMU, Queen Esther Sunday School Class, and the J.O.Y. Group.
Mrs. Tillman was a very civic-minded person, being involved with many projects for the betterment of Appling County. She was chosen as Citizen of the Year and Retired Educator of the Year. She was a member of the Eastern Star for over 55 years. She served as Worthy Matron several times. She was the Lieutenant Governor of the Pilot Club for the Southeast District, as well as serving in offices of the local Pilot Club Chapter in which her mother was Charter Member. She was an active member of (GAE) Georgia Association of Educators where she served as President. She was a vital member of the Appling County Retired Educators and she served as President. She was a very compassionate person and chose to volunteer at the hospital with the Hospital Auxiliary. She served in many offices as well as President.
She was very proud of her heritage. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy where she was very active with their projects and events.
She enjoyed being a member of the Pine Forest Garden Club where she organized many Tour of Homes events over the years. If you knew her, you knew not to try and reach her on Tuesday afternoons during her Canasta games. She loved her Classy Canasta Ladies and would hardly ever miss a game. She would not plan appointments during this time.
Mrs. Tillman was one of a kind and made an impression on everyone she met. She loved her family, church, friends, and community. She continually worked to make Appling County a better place for everyone. This community has lost a great matriarch and she will be significantly missed by all.
Funeral services will be held Monday, July 17, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Swain Funeral Home with Rev. Robert Wigley, Rev. Fred Anderson, and Rev. R. M. Warren officiating. Interment will follow in Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Freddie Hutto, Landry Tillman, Larry Tomberlin, Randy Livingston, Roger Branch, and Mikey Taylor.
Honorary pallbearers will be all friends in attendance.
Visitation will be Sunday evening, 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Swain Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund 13965 Ten Mile Road N.E. Surrency, GA 31563.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Swain Funeral Home.