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Dr. Clifford Tillman

NATCHEZ — Services for Dr. Clifford Tillman, 89, who died Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009, at Magnolia House, will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Laird Funeral Home Union Street Chapel with Rabbi Marshal I. Klaven of Jackson officiating.

Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until service time Sunday at the funeral home.

Dr. Tillman was born Oct. 16, 1920, in Natchez, the son of Cassius Ludwig Tillman II and Delphine Kahn Tillman. He attended Natchez Public Schools and graduated from Natchez High School. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He was dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. Dr. Tillman was first in his class in high school, in college, and in medical school, where in 1944 he was awarded the Founder’s Medal. He was elected to both Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha.

During World War II Dr. Tillman served as a U.S. Army transport surgeon on a ship bringing troops home from Korea and Japan. After the war he completed his medical training as a resident at Washington University and as chief resident at Vanderbilt University. He began his practice of medicine in Natchez in 1951.

Dr. Tillman was a dedicated and caring practitioner of medicine for more than 60 years. He was deeply respected by his patients and fellow physicians. He was board certified in internal medicine and was named a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology. He served as governor of the Mississippi branch of the American College of Cardiology from 1963 to 1966. He was awarded the American College’s prestigious Laureate Award which is given for outstanding contributions in the medical community. Dr. Tillman planned and developed the first coronary care unit in Mississippi, which has been in continuous operation for more than 40 years.

Dr. Tillman was committed to his community. He promoted the establishment of a new and better library for Natchez, and the Judge George W. Armstrong Library was built in 1965. He served on the library board of directors for four decades. He was president of the Mississippi Heart Association and chaired its fund drives for many years. He was a faithful member of the Natchez Rotary Club for more than 50 years. Through speeches to clubs, letters to the newspapers and personal campaigning, he contributed to the effort that prevented Adams County from becoming a toxic waste disposal site.

His interest in the environment was reflected in his devotion to the birds. He maintained as many as 15 bird feeders at his home, devising surprising methods to thwart the squirrels. He participated annually in the Christmas bird count sponsored by the Natchez Audubon Society of which he was a former president.

Dr. Clifford Tillman is survived by his wife of 65 years, Sarah Ann Gardner Tillman; four children, Linda Delphine Tillman of Atlanta, Clifford Randolph Tillman and wife, Ann, and Barry Forrest Tillman and wife, Teri, all of Natchez, and Sarah Elizabeth Tillman of Chapel Hill, N.C.; one brother, Cassius Ludwig Tillman III of New Orleans; one sister, Delphine Tillman Barnett and husband, Harry, of Charleston, S.C.; 13 grandchildren, Sarah Bycott McCormack, Rebecca Bycott Ramspott, Valerie Bycott Daniel, Catherine Tillman Whalen, Clifford Randolph Tillman Jr., Margaret Tillman Ayres, Rebecca Tillman Jex, Laura Madeline Tillman, Rachel Victoria Tillman, Amanda Tillman Shea, Benjamin Forrest Tillman, Avery Quinn Logan and Clara Ruth Logan; and eight great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Benjamin Forrest Tillman, Clifford Randolph Tillman Jr., Brian Thomas Ayres, Jeffrey Harrison Daniel, Kellen Travis Jex, Kevin Anthony McCormack, Matthew Edward Ramspott, James Ryan Shea and John Joseph Whalen III.

Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Bruce Kuehnle, Dr. William Godfrey, Robert Lehmann and Ronald Riches.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Friends of the Judge George W. Armstrong Library, the National Audubon Society, of a charity of choice.

Online condolences may be sent to www.lairdfh.com.

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