American Veteran 01

Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Tillar

February 10, 1932 ~ April 25, 2020 (age 88)

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      The Legacy of a Great Man...

“Upon life’s Journey, we are given opportunities to plant seeds of goodness, seeds of kindness, and seeds of blessings that bestow our hearts, our work, and our being. For those that sow the fields with loving generosity,

so shall they reap the abundant harvest of eternal life.”


     Today, we pause to pay tribute to the memory of Deacon Theodore R. Tillar, who was a loving brother, uncle and friend. He was one who loved his family with all his heart, and not only nurtured his family, but enriched the lives of many.

     On Wednesday, February 10, 1932, Theodore Roosevelt Tillar, began his journey through life in Greensville County, Virginia. He was the oldest child born to the parentage of the late Cato W. and Inola Gilliam Tillar.  Having been reared in a Christian home, he became a member of the Diamond Grove Baptist Church at a very early age. It was there that his love for God deepened and spiritual gifts nurtured. While on his spiritual journey, Theodroe would serve the church in various capacities as he was a part of the Trustee Ministry, Church Clerk and later ordained a Deacon. He held this ordination in very high regard, as he was often called upon for guidance and wisdom.

     Not only did Theodore have a passion for God and his church, he also had a passion for education. Always a person who was interested in education and the world around him, he set his mind on attending college. After graduating from Greensville County Training School, he sojourned to North Carolina to attend the North Carolina A&T State University. His undergraduate studies were short lived due to being drafted for the Korean War. He joined the United States Army and served for two years. Upon being honorably discharged, he went on to complete his studies at Saint Paul’s College, pursuing a degree and licensure in education. This positioned Theodore to begin his career at Little Mill School in Sussex County. Education, children and learning were near and dear to his heart.

     Realizing the leaders are also learners, Theodore desired to further his education in 1974 at Virginia State University, obtaining a master’s degree in Science Education. In 1976, he received yet another Master of Education specifically in Administration and Supervision from Virginia State University. In 1995, he was awarded the Doctor of Humanities Degree from Eastern North Carolina Theological Institute. After 38 year in education, Dr. Tillar retired from E.W. Wyatt Junior High School in Emporia, Virginia. Many of his students still recall his presence and impact he had on their lives. Although he completed his educational journey, his work was not over, as he continued in the agricultural industry as a livestock farmer.

     Dr. Tillar chose his first love and sweetheart, Mary Helen Person as his lifelong companion and wife in 1974. They had forty-three blissful years of marriage together, before the Lord called her home.

     Dr. Tillar was a man of God, of goals and the gathering of his community. As a community leader, he served as the interim Greensville County Supervisor and was a board member and Treasurer of the Greensville County Community Youth Center. He also held past memberships in other civic and professional organizations. Some of these include: American Legion Post 151, The Greensville County Retired Teachers Association and a very proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 

     One of Dr. Tillar’s favorite sayings was, “A word to the wise is sufficient”. His pride and joy in life was helping others. Additionally, while helping others he enjoyed the company of friends, farming and attending social events. “ For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4: 6-7) On Saturday, April 25, 2020, Theodore Roosevelt Tillar peacefully slipped into eternal slumber while in the serenity of his home. His seeds are well-sown; his service on earth is complete, and he now experiences the victory and triumph of eternal life.

     Theodore’s life and legacy will forever live on in the hearts and minds of: his sister, Joyce Tillar Watson of Glen Allen, Virginia; niece, Kae Inola Watson of Richmond, Virginia; brother-at-heart, Reverend Lawrence Carpenter of Randallstown, Maryland; a devoted cousin, Charles R. Garris of Skippers, Virginia; dedicated caregivers and nieces; Carlotta Hines Pyant and Valecia Mallory Mabrey; a longtime friend, Joseph Carey



Relatives and Friends are encouraged to visit Dr. Tillar’s  tribute wall to share memories, extend condolences and to order floral tributes, as sentiments to the family.  


The Management and Staff of Knox-High Mortuary, Inc. is privileged to provide

"Distinctive Services, With The Essence Of Excellence"

to the family of Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Tillar.  

We ask that you join us in remembering the family in both thought and prayer. 

 "Diligent in Business; Fervent in Spirit." - Romans: 12:11


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Tillar, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


May 1, 2020

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Knox-High Mortuary, Inc.
568 Halifax St.
Emporia, VA 23847

May 2, 2020

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Knox-High Mortuary, Inc.
568 Halifax St.
Emporia, VA 23847

Private Service

Video is available for this event

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