Arthur J. Tillman

05/13/2019 12:17 PM |

Longtime Mattituck resident Arthur J. Tillman died May 6, 2019.

Born in 1940 to Joseph and Emily Tillman, Art grew up in Malverne and graduated in Malverne High School’s Class of 1958. He then served four years in the U.S. Army, going on to receive an undergraduate degree from Oneonta and a master’s from Farmingdale. Art taught history and sociology at North Babylon High School until retiring in 1997.

Throughout his years in Mattituck, Art was active in many organizations. In the early ’80s he served as president of Mattituck-Laurel Library, taking the lead on the expansion and, later, the addition of the “Hunt House.” He served as Southold Town Democratic Party chair for seven years and was also an accomplished auctioneer who offered his services to raise money for Eastern Long Island Hospital. Most recently, Art served as an adjutant and chaplain for the American Legion (Raymond Cleaves Post). He was also a member of Mattituck Lions Club, leading and reviving the youth branch, the Mattituck Leos, for several years.

Over the years, Art played key roles in many other organizations. He supported the North Fork Environmental Council and was active in demanding more transparency around labor and environmental issues pertaining to Plum Island. He did extensive research for the Greenport and Riverhead Railroad Museums. He served as education director of the Czech Legions Project. He was also a friend and contributor to Malverne Historical Society.

Art met his wife, Andrea (née Cavagnaro), at The Post House in Southampton, N.Y. They were married in 1970 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton, N.Y. Over the years, they became the parents of three girls, moving to Mattituck in 1976.

When Andrea became ill, Art was responsible for her care and for raising his girls as a single parent.

He was a committed, generous and loving father who learned from experience the value of community. In subsequent years, he sought to give back and support those from all walks of life. He was a friend to immigrants, youth and those of different political or religious affiliations. He was a champion of the local farming community and all those who labor.

At home, he enjoyed landscape design and gardening. He grew flower, vegetable and herb gardens every year. Friends would often drop by to appreciate his creations.

Art is survived by his longtime companion, Sue Kujawski; daughters Lahra Tillman of Cambridge, Mass., Leah Tillman of Mattituck, N.Y., and Catherine Fledderjohn (Matthew) of Concord, Mass.; and four grandchildren. He will also be dearly missed by his sister, Marilyn Orr, and her husband, Edward “Skip” Orr, of Reston, Va.; his godson, Michael Orr of Ashland, Mass.; and nieces and nephew Christine Sullivan, Karen Boyer and Timothy Orr.

This is a paid notice.

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