Blue Ridge Funeral & Cremation Service       7626 Highway 213      Mars Hill, NC 28754     Phone: (828) 680-0287      Fax: (828) 680-9965      Email:


Novella Tillery

Gwendolyn "Gwen" Tillery

Tuesday, March 14th, 1922 - Friday, October 30th, 2020
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N. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Tillery, 98, of Mars Hill died of Covid-19 complications on October 30, 2020, at Madison Health and Rehabilitation in Mars Hill where she had resided for several years.

A Madison County native, Gwen was the daughter of the late Robert F. and Laura Peek Tillery. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her older brother and sister-in-law, Thomas J. and Myron L. Tillery; younger brother and sister-in-law Auburn F. and Otelia P. Tillery; and her only sister Ila Tillery, as well as four half-sisters and two half-brothers.

She is survived by a niece, Ann Tillery-Bostic, and her husband, Henry Bostic, four nephews; four grandnieces and three grandnephews; and a host of cousins and friends who will all miss her and cherish her memory.

After graduating from Mars Hill High School, Gwen moved to Baltimore, MD, during World War II where for a while she was a Rosie the Riveter, helping build bombers at the Glen L Martin Company plant. Because of her petite size, she often worked in the tightest spaces. Later she moved to the drafting department.

After the war she took a correspondence course from the Famous Artists School and had a long career as a draftsperson and graphic and technical illustrator for defense and government contractors in the Baltimore-Washington area, often working on classified projects. She retired from EG&G Washington Analytical Services Center.

After retirement, Gwen and sister Ila moved to a family home on the edge of the Mars Hill University campus in the late 1980s and became energetically involved in the life of Mars Hill, especially Mars Hill Baptist Church and the “Save Bailey Mountain” project.

Burial will be private at the Old Bull Creek Baptist Church cemetery. A memorial service will be held in 2021.

Gwen wished that gifts in her memory be made to Mars Hill Baptist Church or the Madison County Public Library, Mars Hill Branch. Our family is grateful for the staff of Madison Health and Rehabilitation who cared for Gwen for more than five years.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, November 7th, 2020 |
    Saturday, November 7th, 2020
    Old Bull Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
    117 Old Bull Creek Rd.
    Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A memorial service will be held in 2021.
    Dr. Reverend Tommy Justus
  • Interment

    Saturday, November 7th, 2020 |
    Saturday, November 7th, 2020
    Old Bull Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
    NC Hwy 213
    Marshall, NC 28753
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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