Bob J. Tillerson


While holding the hand of his wife, Bob J. Tillerson was taken home to God on Feb. 25.

Born Sept. 16, 1926, to Varnie Maston and Julia Leo Tillerson in Wichita Falls, Texas. Bob was an active Boy Scout and graduated from Wichita Falls Senior High School in 1943. He attended Hardin Junior College (now Midwestern State University) for one year. At the end of that year, at age 17, he enlisted in the Navy. At that time, during WWII, if a young man enlisted prior to his 18th birthday, he could choose his branch of service. Since he had an uncle who was career Navy, he selected the Navy.

During that summer as he waited to be “called up,” he served on the Boy Scout summer camp staff at Perkins Scout Reservation in Wichita Falls. It was there that he met his wife, Patty Sue Patton, when she came to the camp to visit her brother. Once camp was over, he had just one week before leaving for boot camp and he and Patty were together every night of that week. He left on Aug. 1, 1944, for the war in the Pacific.

Following boot camp, he was sent to Electricians Mate School and in May 1945, was assigned as an EM 3/C to the USS Battleship North Carolina. He served in the Pacific until the end of the war in August 1945. He continued on the North Carolina until January 1946, when he was assigned to a destroyer for the rest of his tenure.

Discharged in May 1946, he re-entered Hardin Junior College for one year and, in August 1947, he and Patty were married. He worked for Taystee Baking Company as a route salesman for 10 years, during which time he served as scoutmaster for Troop 10 sponsored by the Presbyterian Church. At that time, the council approved his receiving the Eagle Scout Badge because of his service in the Navy, even though he was past age 18. He was awarded his Eagle Badge along with five members of his troop. He also was a Vigil member of the Order of Arrow organization of scouting. Scouts met at their house and did bead work and feathers, making costumes for their ceremonies — and, of course, Patty helped too.

Three children were born to them during this time and, in 1958, he was approached to enter the scouting profession. In April of that year, the family began his career in scouting by moving to Vernon, Texas, with their district scout executive dad.

In 1961, the family moved to Stillwater, Okla., where Bob continued to serve as district executive, but also as summer camp director. They lived there for seven years, moving to Huntsville, Texas, in 1968, where he served for two years before moving to Camp Strake near Conroe, Texas, as assistant director of camping for the Sam Houston Area Council. Two years later, they moved to Houston, where he became director of camping and activities for the Sam Houston Area Council and later as director of special events and activities for the council from which he retired in 1987 and moved to Pagosa Springs, Colo.

In Pagosa, he became active as a volunteer with the Forest Service, helped move the log hut from Ace Hardware on Put Hill out to Monument Park and then volunteered with others to make it into an overnight stop for cross-country skiers, etc. He was also active in the early development of the Chimney Rock site, volunteering many hours. Additionally, he was the summer hike leader for the Gray Wolves organizations as well as their cross-country ski treks during the winter months. He backpacked the surrounding mountains for several years. As a member of the Rotary Club since 1987, he headed up the parade lineup for entrants in the Fourth of July Parade for about 15 years. He served as “songmeister” for the club for many years to the present time.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Patty Sue; daughter Ms. Jo Lyn Peters, of Round Rock, Texas; daughter Dr. Rae Ann Hamilton and husband Judge Lee Hamilton, of Abilene, Texas; son Secretary of State Rex Wayne Tillerson and wife Renda, of Washington, D.C.; granddaughter Kelli D. Hughes, of Cedar Park, Texas; grandsons: Jon D. Peters, of Magnolia, Texas; Robert Tillerson, of Houston, Texas; Michael Tillerson, of Cedar Park, Texas; Tyler Tillerson, of Argyle, Texas; Peter Ryan Hamilton, of Seattle, Wash.; and Benjamin Paul Hamilton, of North Richland Hills, Texas; step-grandson Cody House, of Montague, Texas; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Services were held in Pagosa Springs at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St., on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m., to be followed by a service in Wichita Falls, Texas, on Friday, March 2, at 2 p.m. at Owens and Brumley Funeral, 1317 Ninth St. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Archuleta Veteran’s Memorial Park Fund, the local Boy Scout Council or/and the local Rotary Club.