Michael “Crooked Beard” Tillery

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When Mike entered Heaven, he was reunited with his Granny Margaret, who would agree that God loves pirates too. Mike was baptized at Beverly Hills Baptist Church when he was 7 years old. He was a strong man with a big heart, who never met a stranger. His famous last words: “I wanna go out with 4 flat tires, all the pistons blown, a leaky radiator and my shorts on fire.” We truly believe he succeeded at that. At 52, Mike was born December 1, 1968, and left us June 9, 2021, Wednesday morning at 9:35AM while in BSW Hillcrest Hospital. His long-fought battle with cancer was over.

Service Information: Memorial Service to be held 2:00 PM, Saturday, June 19, at Lake Shore Funeral Home.

Although he was born in Toms River, NJ, his mother got him to Waco, Texas as soon as possible, where he later found his calling as a Quarter Master of a pirate crew in festivals. All who knew him growing up, could tell he was quite a character.

Some say Mike was raised by his mom but they actually raised each other. In 1983, when he was 14, he walked his mom down the aisle to marry, Johnny Bates, who was the best influence ever in his life.

He graduated TSTC with an Associates Degree in computer technologies. Years later, he was in produce delivery all around Waco and nearby communities. He quickly became friends with all of his customers, spreading humor and inviting everyone to come to his next Pirate Faire event.

Mike’s greatest pride was his sons, James and Anthony Tillery, and he attended every activity they were involved in. They were the true treasures of his life. Five years ago, Anthony made him a grandfather with the arrival of Miss Cecilia(CeCe).

Mike, aka Mikee Mann, Crooked Beard, Dad, Poppa Mikee and others, leaves behind his parents, Louise Stafford Bates and husband Johnny; sons, James and Anthony Tillery; sister, Margaret Meadows; nephew, David Joseph Tillery; niece, Mollie-Ann Meadows; as well as several uncles, aunts, cousins and countless friends.

“When you find people who both tolerate your quirks as well as celebrate them with glad cries, be sure to cherish them.”

By A.J. Downey

The family extends their heartfelt thanks to BSW Hillcrest-Waco staff and Hospice for your care of our loved one.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to send a memorial contribution to:

Shepherd’s Heart Ministries

PO Box 23175 Waco, Tx 76702

or the recipient of your choice.

Please make a note:

In Honor of Mike Tillery.


Place of Service: ,

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Condolence Messages

  1. Sharon & Larry Burns

    He was a force of nature and will be missed. Thankful for the time those who knew and loved him had with him.

  2. Terri Hancock-Cobb AKA your stalker.💗

    Mikeemann- Always in My Heart💗 . Love you always!
    Rest In Peace my Dear Friend. Till we meet again…

  3. Fred and Dolores Green

    Our deepest Condolences to our whole family.
    Much Love and Many Blessings 🙏❤🙏❤

  4. Jeanine Dennard- Milner

    I am so sorry for your loss. He sounded like a beacon of light to everyone he met. I know you will forever, in this life, miss him, but Joy comes in the morning, when you’ll hold him again. Prayers for your family.

    Jeanine Dennard-Milner

  5. Mike was truly one of a kind and was the coolest “pirate” I have ever known!!!! The things he made were very unique and you could always count on seeing several of his newest creations every time you saw him!!! Rest easy my friend, you will be missed!!!!

  6. It was truly a pleasure to have known you as yourself and as the coolest and most creative pirate’s ever!!! Rest in peace 🙏

  7. We mourn his loss and pray for strength and comfort for his family. Words will not come tp me this day to express the sadness that we feel in his passing.

  8. Pamela Wilson

    Louise, my heart goes out to you and all your family. I am so sorry! I only knew Mike thru you but you always had high praises for him and you were his biggest fan.

  9. Shelly Clarke Hatch

    Sending all my hugs, love and light for peace comfort and strength to you Aunt Louise especially… along with all the family and friends who love and miss him. ❣️❣️❣️

  10. Tom and Donna Hopkins

    Louise and Johnny, we are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family for peace and comfort at this very difficult time.

  11. Susan Arthurs

    The world lost a true model for compassion and love and family and honor and loyalty and do all you can to make a better world and make things with your own two hands and be proud of it. How to enjoy life and nature and teach respect. So honored to have known you sir and my pirate gifts you have me are deeply cherished as are you. Thank you for being in this world sir. You made it a much better place.

  12. Baylor Scott and White Hospice

    Dear Tillery Family, The Scott and White Hospice Family would like to give you our deepest condolences with reassurance that you all are in our thoughts and prayers! We still care!

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