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Jesse Eugene Tillett

Jesse Eugene Tillett, age 103, Blue Eye, Missouri

Jesse Eugene Tillett, age 103, passed January 10, 2023, peacefully in his home. He entered this life October 22, 1919, the son of Charles and Nellie (Glasgow) Tillett in Mount Morris, Illinois.

Jesse was born on a farm, no stranger to hard work, farming with only horses, he grew up learning how to grow crops and take care of a wide variety of animals. At the ages ten and sixteen, he repaired and replastered the inside of the Black Hawk statue in Lowden State Park, Oregon, Illinois. In 1969, Jesse ended his farming career to work for Rock-Ford Tractor in Pecatonica and AA Anderson in Harvard before moving back to Freeport.

During his “retirement” years he built fences until age 89 and assisted his son-in-law building sunrooms until 2017. Jesse loved dancing with his wife, their favorites were the polka and waltz. He enjoyed watching the Molly B. Polka Show and the Wheel of Fortune on T.V., and playing euchre, checkers, listening to his musical toys, pitching horseshoes, and playing pool. Jesse only had a Sixth-grade education, but he was one of the smartest, wittiest man. He loved telling jokes, would help anyone, and couldn’t sit still. His memory was still sharp. The memories created over a marvelous life will be cherished forever.

He is preceded in death by his wife of sixty-one years, Emily Tillett (July 23, 2013); son: LaVerne; son-in-law, Merle Mennenga; parents; brother, Milo Tillett; sisters: Cora, Dora, Helen, and infant baby sister, Florence.

Jesse is survived by daughter, Helen Mennenga of Blue Eye, Missouri; sons: George (Lois) Tillett of Roscoe, Illinois, and Sam Tillett of Belvidere, Illinois; step twins: Linda Gentry of Rockford, Illinois, and Warren (Sandy) Oleson of Pecatonica, Illinois; numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; as well as many other extended family members.

A celebration of life will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday January 16, 2022, at Pines Community Christian Church, 7968 State Hwy 86, Blue Eye, MO 65611, with Pastor Steve Bond officiating. A light lunch to follow service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jesse’s name to the Pines Community Christian Church’s maintenance department. Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Cremations of the Ozarks. To leave an online condolence, please visit


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