Garry Eugene Tillson

NORWOOD, Mass. –

A kind man with a booming laugh and a big heart, Garry Eugene Tillson passed away at his home in Norwood on May 4, 2022.

The son of Harold Eugene and Violet Garland Tillson of Winthrop, Maine was born on Sept. 13, 1943, in Gardiner. In addition to exceling in his classes, Garry made many friends as a four-year member of Winthrop High School’s basketball team, football team and Glee Club before graduating in 1962.

In 1965, Garry followed his passion for military history and joined the Navy. During the three years he was stationed in bases worldwide, Garry enjoyed some of the proudest moments of his life until he was seriously injured in an automobile accident while serving in the Azores in 1968. After being flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland for treatment, Garry was transferred to the West Roxbury VA Hospital in West Roxbury, Mass. for extensive physical therapy.

As much as he enjoyed living in Massachusetts, Garry realized he needed more help. He returned to Winthrop to live with his mother and receive additional rehabilitation services at the VA Hospital in Augusta. It was the last time Garry Tillson would depend on anyone for anything. Despite the severe limp that impacted his mobility, Garry resolved to regain his independence and create a new life for himself in Massachusetts.

In 1972, Garry graduated from Suffolk University in Boston with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and immediately joined the Internal Revenue Service. Over his 40-year career as a tax auditor, Garry’s “take charge approach” to his job, combined with his abilities to motivate and develop other technicians, earned him multiple Sustained Superior Awards and the Director’s Award. After retiring in 2012, he enjoyed traveling and the camaraderie of his friends.

At family gatherings, Garry was beloved for his immense kindness, sharp wit, keen observations about all Boston sports, and free tax advice.

He will be missed by his sister Jan Fraser and his brother-in-law Bruce Fraser of Kennebunk; nephews Ronnie Tillson and Brian Fraser, nieces Beth Hipsley and Brenda Darroch; and several great nieces and nephews.

While future generations will not have the pleasure and privilege of knowing him, Garry’s family vows to share their many happy memories of him. Most notably, his dinner table wisdom that all Thanksgiving Day delicacies should be mixed and enjoyed together because “it all ends up in the same place.”

A graveside celebration of his life will be held at the Glenside Cemetery in Winthrop on May 28 at 1 p.m.

Arrangements are in the care of the Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin Street, Winthrop, where memories, condolences, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at

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