Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thank You, Dr T! (1920 - 2009)

Dr Clifford Tillman, Chair of the Armstrong Library Board of Trustees and member for 46 years, died on Wednesday, November 11 at the age of 89. He will be sorely missed by all of us at the Library. (See article and obituary in the Natchez Democrat and the tribute on our website.)

Receiving a Resolution from the Mayor
on the occasion of his retirement from the Board.

No one in Natchez has had more of an impact on our Library than Dr Tillman. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't even have our building. Getting financing and approval for a new library in 1964 was a real political feat, and he took pride in his ability to pull it off. He was a visionary leader who steered the Library through good times and bad.

We are pleased that his family has asked that donations in his memory be made to the Friends of the Armstrong Library. If you wish to make a donation, you may bring it by the Library or mail it to 220 South Commerce Street, Natchez MS 39120. Contributors will be acknowledged on our website. These funds will be used for a special memorial yet to be determined.

We thought a good way to honor him would be to ask some members of the Library community for their memories of him. We hope you will also add your memories in the comment section.

Susan Cassagne, Director of the Library: "His dedication to the community was apparent in all of his activities. Even after he retired from the Board of Trustees, he asked about the Library each time he saw me. I'll always be grateful for his leadership and fairness - not mention his sense of humor. We'll miss him."

Lucy Miller, President of Friends of the Library: "He was a recognized and steadfast friend of literacy and the Armstrong Library. He will be missed by all of us in the Friends of the Library."

Beverly Aldridge, former Member of the Board of Trustees: "Dr Tillman was a dedicated member of the Board of Trustees from the time he was a young man. He firmly believed that information should be available to all and that our public library was one of Natchez' most important institutions."

Casey Hughes, Library Administrative Assistant: "I loved it when he would come into my office and tell me tales of the Library. He was so witty and had so many stories to tell."

Larry Buckley, newest Member of the Board of Trustees: "Even though I did not know Dr Tillman very well, I would always see him at Rotary. He was always a very cordial person and always asked how I was doing. He always spoke when I would see him out. He will be missed greatly."

Archie Hall, Library Clerk: "Dr Tillman was a very fun loving person with a great laugh and personality. He will be greatly missed throughout the community of Natchez and surrounding areas."

Genny Harrison, Member of the Board of Trustees: "One day I ran into Dr and Mrs Tillman at the UPS store, and Dr Tillman said to me that he understood that I was going to replace him on the Library Board of Trustees.....I immediately said, 'Dr Tillman, NOONE could ever replace you!!!' He just smiled and gave me a hug!! His love of Natchez, and most especially the Library, will always be an inspiration to me!!!"

Anne White, Assistant Director of the Library: "At Dr Tillman’s retirement reception last summer, he seemed delighted and not a little amused at all the attention he was getting. It was wonderful to see his obvious enjoyment as more and more people arrived to celebrate his years of service."

Janet Minor, Children's Librarian: "Dr Tillman was a very dedicated person to the Armstrong Library and the Community. He will be greatly missed."

Ella Young, Friends of the Library: "Dr. Clifford was always so very interested in our library and participated in so many of our events. His legacy will long remain."

Jacqulyn Williams, former Member of the Board of Trustees: "My respect and admiration is very deep for Dr Tillman, both as once being my personal physician and serving with him on the Library Board. He was a doctor that I could call on after office hours and was also an adamant supporter of the Armstrong library."

Marianne Raley: Reference Librarian: "Dr Tillman loved the library and was always inspiring us to do great things for the literacy of the Natchez community. He will be greatly missed."

Duncan McFarlane, Chair of the Board of Trustees: "Dr Tillman was my mother's doctor for about 50 years, and I went to him as a teenager. His dedication to the Armstrong Library was amazing; as a trustee, I hope I can continue the work that he started."

Delores Mullins, Library Clerk: "I have known Dr Clifford Tillman for forty years. He was a great person and doctor. He was always there for you anytime you needed him. He did a lot for our library. I sure am going to miss him."

Chris Shirey, Library Head of Technical Services: "I knew Dr Tillman before coming to Armstrong Library; he was my dad's doctor. So I got to see him as very good and caring doctor. After coming to the Library I also got to know the caring and concerned man that he was. He knew how important Armstrong Library is to the community and was behind everything that would help the library. He will be greatly missed by all."

More quotes are coming.

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