Richard 'Sonny' Tilson


Richard “Sonny” Tilson, 80, a faithful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many, departed this life unexpectedly on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.

He was born on June 21, 1941, in Springtown, to the late Clifford and Beulah Scoggins Tilson.

Throughout life, Sonny had a strong love for his family and friends and worked for the City of Benton Water Works, later retiring from Ocoee Utilities.

Aside from his professional career, Sonny enjoyed being a patron to the local diners and spending time with his friends. He was loved dearly and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his parents, Clifford and Beulah Tilson, he was preceded in death by his loving wife, Cora Lou Tilson; daughters: Tammy Free and Rita Jacobs Ledford; and brother, Rabin Tilson.

Left to cherish the many memories include his beloved children: Kimberly (Troy) Pollay, Rick C. (Jane) Tilson and Roger Free; grandchildren: Joseph (Kristi) Ellis, Brittani (Steve) Thompson, Ashley Free, Stephen (Dorothy) DeCamp, Becca (Ryan) Delk, Jessi Sellars, Amy (Ashley) Henderson and Kelli Tilson.

A Celebration of Life service will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in the chapel of Higgins Funeral Home, with Pastor Vernon Webb and Pastor Pete Morgan officiating. Graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, at Maple Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, with his family serving as pallbearers.

Family and friends will gather from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, prior to the service at the funeral home.

The Tilson family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to doctors Vicki and Eric Kinsey of Elijahs Dream Compassionate Care and the office of Dr. John Jaggers at Blue Ridge Pulmonary for their genuine care.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in loving memory of Cora Lou Tilson and Tammy Free to the American Cancer Society and/or a donation of household items to Dr. Sylvia Kruger’s office to help better the treatment of her patients.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at



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