ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Bessie Tillman, 87 years old, born on October 11, 1933, and passed away on March 31, 2021. We will remember her forever.

Bessie Lee Elizabeth Tillman, was born on October 11, 1933, to Otha and Glenzia Perry in New Jersey. Her mother died when she was a toddler. Otha married Rosa Perry and the family grew with the addition of 9 siblings. Bessie was raised in Franklinton, North Carolina with her brothers and sisters.

Bessie Tillman attended Albion High School in Franklinton North Carolina. She completed beauty school in Durham, North Carolina and did hair privately at a shop in Franklinton. She came to New York in the 50’s and was employed as a Sorter at Selectro in Mamaroneck, New York.

She pursued her occupational interest and became a licensed cosmetologist. In addition to her private clients, she worked as a teacher at the Wilfred Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture in White Plains New York for over 20 years. She loved this job for she was a people person and enjoyed the vibrant interaction with both staff and students. She also worked at Leake and Watts for a few years.

She became a foster grandmother at the Westchester Area School in New Rochelle in 2000 and remained there for 20 years. She was like a mother to many at the school. She was loved by them and they became part of her family. She worked at the school with her friend Dell Johnson who was her sister at heart. They’ve know each other for over 70 years.

Bessie was president over the Tenant’s Council at New Rochelle Housing Authority for many years. She was very active in her community.

Bessie lived her Christian Faith and was a believer in Jesus Christ. She attended Union Baptist Church, where she was an active member for over 40 years. She served as treasurer on the Trustee Board, was a missionary and a member of the senior choir. In her later years she was officially honored as one of the Mothers of the Church.

Bessie loved life and always had a smile and a kind word to say. She was very caring and giving. She was a doting grandmother. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren affectionately called her Nana. They were all deeply attached to her. Nana was always there for them.

Bessie loved to cook and to entertain. Her famous sweet potato pie, collard greens, candied yams with marshmallows and peach cobbler were a delight to the taste buds. 

Bessie held on to life for as long as she possibly could but it was the will of our Heavenly Father to call her home. She will surely be missed but the love we shared will remain with us.

Bessie will be missed and each one will hold on to the special memories we shared with her in this life’s experience.
Posted by Jennifer Brown-Archibald on April 16, 2021
My deepest condolences to the family. Tears are a language God understands. You was such a lovely person with a sweet spirit and a contagious smile. You will be missed. RIP Nana
Posted by Joyce Bracey on April 15, 2021
Mrs Tillman. What a beautiful, wonderful, caring person you were
Everyone loved you. Always a smile
And there to help. Will miss you deeply. Thank you for being you.
Gid rest your soul.
Posted by Shaketta Johnson on April 15, 2021
This is absolutely beautiful just like Aunt Bessie was! I will forever love and miss you Aunt Bessie, our jokes and laughter together. Most importantly how you always reminded me to never give up and don’t let anyone ever run me away from what God has for me... thank you❤️❤️❤️
Posted by Vernon Smith on April 15, 2021
It was a joy to have known you!

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Jennifer Brown-Archibald on April 16, 2021
My deepest condolences to the family. Tears are a language God understands. You was such a lovely person with a sweet spirit and a contagious smile. You will be missed. RIP Nana
Posted by Joyce Bracey on April 15, 2021
Mrs Tillman. What a beautiful, wonderful, caring person you were
Everyone loved you. Always a smile
And there to help. Will miss you deeply. Thank you for being you.
Gid rest your soul.
Posted by Shaketta Johnson on April 15, 2021
This is absolutely beautiful just like Aunt Bessie was! I will forever love and miss you Aunt Bessie, our jokes and laughter together. Most importantly how you always reminded me to never give up and don’t let anyone ever run me away from what God has for me... thank you❤️❤️❤️
her Life
The Homegoing Celebration for
Bessie Lee Elizabeth Tillman
Friday April 16th

Barney T. McClanahan Funeral Home, Inc.
30 Winthrop Avenue, New Rochelle, New York , 10801
The Viewing 11:00AM - 11:55AM - The Funeral Service 12:00 Noon
 Interment - Greenwood Union Cemetery, 215 North St., Rye, N.Y. 10580



Recent stories

I miss you

Shared by Vania Tillman on April 15, 2021
From a Child, one of my biggest fears was losing this beautiful woman !! So many memories and stories.. one thing she left with me is my love for hair,  I used to go to work with her as a kid and watch her teach her students and they used to light up when she walked in the building.. I even used to watch her do her private clients hair after she retired.. Imma miss her Calling me day in day out, when we laughed, joked, and she always gave me the best life advice if I could write down more I would .. but I'm truly hurting imma end this off by saying.. "Nana I love u so much, thank you for EVERYTHING"