Samuel Bailey Tillman
Samuel Bailey Tillman
  • December 27, 1929 - January 8, 2018
  • River Ridge, Louisiana

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Samuel Bailey Tillman, Jr., age 88, passed away Monday, January 8th, 2018 at his home in River Ridge, Louisiana. Sam was born on December 27th, 1929 in Birmingham, Alabama to Evelyn Gregory Tillman and Samuel Bailey Tillman. The oldest of 2 children, Sam graduated from Warren Easton in 1947, and then the University of Miami in 1952.

Sam had a life-long passion for his family and their welfare. He enjoyed life and his friends and was equally loved by them in return. He loved fishing, cooking, socializing, and dancing, in any order. An avid fisherman Sam kept up the sport into his 80’s and passed it on to his grandchildren, who are also avid fishermen. His fishing spirit especially lives on with his name-sake and grandson, Sam Girault, who also inherited Sam’s joie de vivre (and fishing poles).

Sam, or “Speedy & Shifty” as he was known at the time, was a football player, back in the days of leather helmets. While playing for Warren Easton against Jesuit in the ’47 New Orleans City Championship, he was the ball carrier on the famous “Swinging Gate” play and scored to lead the Fighting Eagles to a 14-6 victory. He went on to receive a football scholarship to the University Miami.

Most of all, Sam loved his wife, Kathleen, and his daughters. Rarely is a man so blessed as Sam. His pride and love overflowed for them. Truly, his first concern was for their well-being and happiness. As with most of us, our love for family trumps all else. Sam raised three beautiful, strong women who went on to create their own families, as blessed as his own. That is the legacy he meant to leave and cheers to his success.

Sam never lost his embrace of life. On a night on the town, around his 80th birthday, Sam toured Frenchmen street enjoying the food, drinks, and entertainment. At the Spotted Cat, he charmed nearly every girl in the bar with his smile and wit while the joint was hopping with a string a New Orleans’ best jazzmen playing through the night. One could only wish to be his wingman during his prime.

Sam is survived by his wife, Kathleen Ruddell; daughters Elizabeth (Tom) Czerniak, Sallie (Tom) Rainer, and Evelyn (Johnny) Girault; stepsons, David Adcox and Stephen (Sheridan) Adcox; and sister, Evelyn Tillman Miller. Sam will be fondly remembered and toasted by his grandchildren Marshall, Tillman, Sam, Molly, Anne Bailey, Michael, and Nicholas. Sam was preceded in death by his first wife, and daughter’s mother, Genevieve.

Relatives and friends are invited attend a visitation at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. in New Orleans, on Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. until Noon. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Sam’s memory to Lighthouse for the Blind,

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