James Tilley was born to Jessie and Cordelia Tilley on February 1, 1931. He attended Central High School in Troup, Texas. He was baptized at an early age and was a member of Mt Rose Baptist Church. In 1954, he moved to Dallas, Texas where he met his wife Earldean and her four children. Shortly thereafter, they married. On September 14, 1963 James and Earldean Tilley gave birth to their daughter Esterlean Tilley who passed away in 1996 leaving James and Earldean to care for her three children Tequila, Davette and Chiquita Tilley.
He began working for Sears and Roebuck where he later retired after 29 years of employment. After retirement, James truly begin to enjoy life to the fullest through simple pleasures; spending time with family, going fishing and playing bingo. Whenever the weather was good, you could always find him and his best friend Willie Earl Smith at the lake fishing. He was also a big Dallas Cowboy fan. And one thing we all know; he LOVED his WIFE.
James leaves to cherish his precious memories, his two step-children James Rockmore (Lovie) and Emma King (Melvin), 9 grandchildren, three sisters: Leverse Mullen, M Jewelett Taylor (Juan), and Johnnie B Williams, four brothers: Col. J. Junior Tilley (Kathryn), Robert E. Tilley (Ella Pearl), Young Tilley, Darnell Tilley, a best friend Willie Earl Smith Sr. and a host of other relatives, neighbors, friends and family of faith.
He was preceded in death by his wife Earldean Tilley, daughter Esterlean Tilley, step-daughter Donna Marie Sparks, step-son Robert Rockmore, his father and mother Jesse Tilley and Cordelia Tilley, three sisters Lois Slack, Mary Jo Steptoe, one unknown, and one brother Josephus Tilley.