Tillery legacy lives on

Published 6:27 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

Until her death in 1998, C. Faye Tillery was a beloved and well known employee of Suffolk Parks and Recreation who went above and beyond to serve her community.

Tillery spent her years investing in young people, helping them stay active through her work and inspiring them to become better versions of themselves in all kinds of ways, including improving their physical fitness and doing well in their education.

Unfortunately, Tillery died of cancer in 1998. Were it not for that, we have every confidence she would still somehow be pouring her life into the young people of our community.

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In the 20 years since, however, the Tillery family has taken up the mantle and carries on her legacy. The community has benefited from a number of the family’s initiatives over the years, including the former C. Faye Tillery Day done in coordination with Suffolk Parks and Recreation. This day featured a basketball tournament and other events for the young people.

More recently, the family has started having a back-to-school giveaway during the summer as local kids prepare to return to class. Children who receive school supplies and clothes not only go back to school well equipped to learn but also go back to school knowing that they have the support of the community behind them.

Also in the last three years, the Tillery family has started honoring students and giving out scholarships on the basis of their community service. This year, eight students were recognized at Saturday’s event.

Vonda Holman-Carter, Tillery’s niece, told a News-Herald reporter on Saturday that the family hopes to increase the amount they offer.

“I’m just grateful to be able to sponsor something positive in my aunt’s memory,” she said.

It’s something special to leave behind a legacy like Tillery has done, but for an entire family to get involved in making sure that legacy lasts 20 years and counting is extra special.

We appreciate the entire Tillery family for their efforts that have improved our community.