Mary Elizabeth Tilley
Nov. 17, 1932 – March 21, 2013
LANSING — Mary Elizabeth Tilley, 80, born in Cooperstown and raised in Mount Vision, died unexpectedly on March 21, 2013, while visiting Boca Grande, Fla.
Mary attended the Cooperstown High School, where she was awarded honors several times in public speaking. She graduated from Cornell University where she was a member of the Cornell Debate Team and winner of the annual Memorial Class of 1896 Public Speaking Prize. Following her graduation from Cornell in 1954, Mary taught at the Belle Sherman School in Ithaca and later at the Lansing Elementary School. Later, she coordinated a work-study training program within the New York State Public School system.
Additionally, Mary started the first franchise of Century 21 Reality in Ithaca, which became the largest office in the area. She was in real estate for more than 40 years, receiving many awards for Tops in Sales from Century 21 Realty. Mary was president of the Ithaca Board of Realtors. At one time she was president of the Ithaca Woman’s Club and was active in the Community Players and the Young Republican Party.
Mary was predeceased by her parents, Lila Parker Tilley and Glenn Mark Tilley of Otsego County.
She is survived by her older sister, Phila Tilley Eves of Rochester, and her younger brother, Dr. George Parker Tilley and his wife, Carol Koegler Tilley, of Fayetteville and Boca Grande, Fla. Also surviving Mary are her nieces, Pamela Eves Crist, Susan Eves Larry (George), Jennifer Tilley Farlow (Brian) and Cynthia Tilley Cavo (John). Mary is mourned and was loved by many close friends and extended relatives as well as great-nieces and nephews including, Francesca Farlow, Lillia Parker Farlow, John Cavo IV, George Parker Cavo, James Cavo, Merry Struglia Giovachino, Lindsey Giovachino, Louie Giovachino Jr., and Jasmin Johnson. She was especially loved be her dedicated caregiver, Deborah Riggs Homa.
For those who knew Mary well, her spirit of generosity, humor and kindness will always be remembered and celebrated. A service of remembrance will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at the Lansing Methodist Church, Lansing. A family graveside service will be held in Mount Vision in the summer.
Contributions in Mary’s name may be made to the Lansing Food Pantry, 32 Brickyard Road, Lansing, NY 14882.