Cover photo for Joseph Harrison Tillman Sr.'s Obituary
Joseph Harrison Tillman Sr. Profile Photo

Joseph Harrison Tillman Sr.

February 28, 1953 — June 28, 2024

Joseph Harrison Tillman, Sr, 71, passed away on June 28, 2024 at his residence following a brave battle with cancer. Joe was born on February 28, 1953 in Atlanta to the late Henry Harrison Tillman, Sr. and Mary Mull Tillman. He married Pam Kelly Tillman in 2004 and together they established their home at Lake Pappy in Hahira, Georgia, where his grandparents and parents had resided in their retirement years and where he had many fond memories of summers spent fishing and working on projects with his grandparents, parents and siblings.

In his youth, Joe participated in Boy Scouts, little league baseball, middle school football, hunting and fishing, and was active in the Episcopal church where he served as an acolyte. Joe attended Valdosta High School and played on the State and National Championship Wildcat football team from 1969 to 1971 when he graduated. He attended the University of Georgia where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha order serving as the Treasurer, and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master’s Degree in Accounting in 1976.

Joe returned to Valdosta and worked under his father Henry Harrison Tillman, Sr. and earned his Certified Public Accountant license in 1978. Joe continued to practice as a CPA alongside his wife Pam and son Eric until May of 2024 and his brother Harrison Tillman, Jr. from 1980 until he moved to Athens, Georgia in 2021. When Joe began his practice in Valdosta, many of his friends who had started businesses locally became his clients. As he built his practice over the years, many of the clients who he represented became friends as well. Joe sincerely cared for his clients and took pride in helping them in all phases of their lives in whatever circumstances came their way. He had a unique way of analyzing a complicated issue and helping clients understand it and arrive at a resolution. He was a true advocate for his clients and a fierce defender when necessary. He built and maintained these relationships for many years. 

Joe’s love of UGA “Dawgs” football was a constant and he looked forward each fall to college football season. The highlight of the last few years was the annual Tillman men UGA trip which included all the sons and grandsons and was a weekend full of football, laughter and fun, especially if the Dawgs won. Joe continued to enjoy working on his family farm and spending time there with his children, their spouses and grandchildren. He was very touched by the outpouring of love and support he received from his family, friends, clients and business associates during his illness.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents Henry Harrison Tillman, Sr. and Mary Mull Tillman. He is survived by his wife of twenty years Pam Kelly Tillman, his children Joseph (Melanie) Tillman, Eric (Emily) Tillman, Kelsey (John Kirk) Tillman and Kaleb (Tabatha) Tillman, grandchildren Luke Tillman, Haley Tillman, Ian Tillman, Eli Tillman, Carson Tillman, Abby Tillman, Beau Tillman and Emerson Tillman, his siblings Mary (Buzz) Bowers, Harrison (Jan Loeffler) Tillman, Jr., Bonnie (Mack) Shealy and Dede (Mike) Wheeler. father-in-law and mother-in law Jim and Julia Kelly, sisters-in-law Carol Kadet (Brian), Reada Hamm (Jody) and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his beloved companion “Gunner”, his mini golden doodle who was by his side through his illness and was a great source of comfort.

A funeral service will be held for Joe at Park Avenue Church on Tuesday, July 2, 2024 at 11 AM. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 9-11am. Burial will be at a later time. Online condolences may be conveyed at 

Flowers are welcomed or a memorial gift may be made to Mayo Clinic Jacksonville or Hospice of South Georgia. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Harrison Tillman Sr., please visit our flower store.

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Service Schedule

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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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