Michael E. Tufts
Michael E. Tufts
  • September 7, 1947 - October 9, 2017
  • Bloomington, Illinois

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Bloomington - Michael E. Tufts, 70, of Bloomington, IL passed away Monday, October 9, 2017 at his residence surrounded by his family and friends.
Michael was born September 7, 1947, in Rock Island, IL, the son of Robert M. and Marjorie I. Doerr Tufts. He married Georgia Brown on October 2, 2010, in Rock Island. She survives.
Also surviving are four children, Robert L. Tufts, Annapolis, MD; Janelle E. (Drew Ludwig) Tufts, Buffalo, N.Y.; Joseph M. Brown, Bloomington; Natalie P. (Denver) Schmitt, Barrington; three grandchildren, Casey, Leah, and Courtney Tufts-Ludwig; an aunt, Fran Doerr, Rock Island; four cousins, Jennifer Wellman, Janesville,WI; Janet (John) Pelk, Punta Gorda, FL; Ken (Paula) Doerr, Phoenix, AZ; and Glen (Bob Chabot) Doerr, Boston, MA. He was preceded in death by his parents.
He graduated from Rock Island High School and attended Millikin University where he earned a degree in Economics, graduating in 1969. After college, Michael was drafted into the U.S. Army, obtained the rank of sergeant, and was deployed to Vietnam with the Americal Division, 328th Radio Research Company (U.S. Army Security Agency). He served his country with distinction receiving two commendations, and a Bronze Star.
Upon returning home, Michael accepted a position as contract estimator with McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company in St. Louis, MO. Michael remained at McDonnell Douglas until 1982 when he retired early in order to spend more time with his two children Robert and Janelle.
As a life-long proponent of public education, and specifically the education of children, Michael volunteered at Becky-David Elementary School, tutoring and mentoring at risk children. He also served as an officer in the school's PTO and was later elected to the Francis Howell Board of Education.
In 1988, he moved his family; to Bloomington-Normal, IL in order to be closer to aging family members and provide a better environment in which to raise his family. He continued to work with children's' education through volunteering at Bent Elementary in Bloomington.
After marrying Georgia, they spent the next seven years traveling the globe together and supporting each other as they pursued their mutual and individual passions, including co-founding the Heartland Interfaith Group.
Michael was a faithful Christian throughout his life, crediting Dardenne Presbyterian Church in Missouri as the beginning of his deeper understanding of faith. After arriving in Bloomington he became an active member of Second Presbyterian Church, where he served the church as a deacon and participant in church committees. Of special importance to Michael, as he traveled along his faith journey, was the fellowship with his bible study small group.
While serving on the Mission Committee his heart was to reach out to Muslims to build a bridge of love and relationship. Michael and Georgia chartered the Heartland Interfaith Group, bringing together people of the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. He served the church through mission trips both abroad and within the United States. He witnessed through mission trips to Alaska, Egypt, Colombia, a Native American reservation, and Equatorial Guinea where his passion for children education shone through as he taught and played with the children of the village. The theme of his faith life was to serve the people of God and to spread God's word.
Michael's true passion was his love of history. He was an avid reader of historical texts, and frequently discussed the topics with friends and family, and traveled to significant historical sites. The history of the Sauk warrior Black Hawk and the peoples he led were of particular interest to Michael. His collection of books in his library was a great source of joy for him.
Michael was an avid fan of his alma mater's football and basketball teams. He also organized trips for tailgating at University of Illinois football games, and was dedicated to Fighting Illini basketball. He was also a lifelong baseball Cardinals fan.
He enjoyed time spent in the outdoors, and tending to his gardens and koi pond, as well as sailing and canoeing.
His family wants to thank all their friends and family, the care-givers at OSF St. Joseph and Advocate BroMenn Hospitals, Community Cancer Center, and MIHOA.
Per Michael's wishes, cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, October 16, 2017 at Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to International Christian Concern (persecution.org), Frontier Fellowship, or Wounded Warriors Project. Online condolences may be shared with the family at eastlawn-bloomington.com.