John R. “Dick” Tilly

Born August 2, 1932, Dick passed peacefully into eternal life on January 21, 2020.  He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 64 years, Beverly (Connell); daughters Lesli and her husband Peter Abraham of Astoria, NY, and Cammy and her husband Channing Warbelton of Omaha, NE; son John and his wife Jean of Dudley, MA; and grandchildren Joseph (and his wife Deepti) , John Patrick (and his wife Kayla) and Michael Tilly; and three generations of nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Andy and her husband Doc Hills.  Dick loved his family and took great joy in challenging them all to explore and deepen their knowledge of history, religion, politics, music and the arts. 

Born in Denver, CO, to John C. and Ruth Sipple Tilly, and raised in Goodland, KS, Dick was an Eagle Scout and served his country in the US Army during the Korean Conflict.  Afterwards, he earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  While at UNL, he joined Kappa Sigma fraternity where he formed a lasting bond with a closely-knit group of friends who have remained inseparable to the end.  Dick practiced architecture in Lincoln and Omaha, NE, then later in Topeka, KS.  He was an avid patron of the arts, particularly during his time in Omaha, where he served for many years as a volunteer on the boards of Opera Omaha and the Omaha Symphony.  He was also supremely dedicated to his faith and his church, serving as a vestryman at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha, and also volunteering in many ways to support Grace Cathedral in Topeka.  He believed deeply in service to others and to your community, and in volunteerism in support of anything and everything that drives passion in you.

Dick was passionate about many things – ok, pretty much everything – not the least of which was his alma mater.  An avid Husker fan, he served on the board of the North Kansans for Nebraska, helping to unify that group into an active and energetic fan base here in the heart of Jayhawk country. 

He loved his family, his friends, and relished both deep conversation and raucous parties.  He loved to sail with his young family, loved to challenge the winds, and loved launching everyone into the water when he so often lost that challenge!

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at Grace Cathedral in Topeka.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Endowment Fund of Grace Cathedral, 701 SW Eighth Avenue Topeka, Kansas  66603. 

12 “John R. “Dick” Tilly

  1. So sorry for your loss. After reading the obituary…I’m sorry I never had the pleasure of meeting him! Our prayers are with you.

  2. I rember Dick mostly from the last high school reunion in Goodland, 2016
    He told me a lot of thigs he and my father did together as boys. Made me laugh. He was very knowledgeable and great to talk to because he made me think. I regret not knowing him better.

  3. Bev, So very sorry to just now learn of Dick’s death. My heart is heavy. He was a dear, sweet friend almost all my life. Our hearts go out to you and your family, we pray the Lord will hold you close and comfort your hearts. Our love, Tom and Mary Ann Foster

  4. Once a brother, always a brother. We were fraternity brothers a long time ago but it has been a long time in seeing each other but he is not forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Butch and Nancy Furse, Aurora, NE

  5. My heartfelt sympathy to Bev & family in the loss of Dick. May you all find peace & comfort under the wings of God in the days ahead.

  6. We were sorry to learn of your loss as well as ours, the SCHS Class of 1950. We located his obituary air the Midwest Cremation Society and will be sending a memorial donation to the Endowment Fund of Grace Cathedral from the Class of 1950.

  7. We are sending our heartfelt prayers to the Tilly family as they endure this terrible loss. May the good lord watch over you all and shepherd you these these sad times.

    With all our hope and prayers from Mike and Cathy Steinback

  8. Our hearts share your loss. We will keep you all close in our thoughts and prayers in the coming days. Much love, Mert & Mickey Bradshaw

  9. Will be thinking of your family this Saturday. Remembering Dick and all his great ideas and flair for speech, friendship through the years.

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