Obituary Listings

Tilley Derges Allen

January 13, 1932 October 20, 2018
Tilley Derges Allen
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Obituary for Tilley Derges Allen

PEORIA-Tilley (Derges) Allen, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and wife, passed away in the evening on Saturday, October 20, 2018 surrounded by her adoring family.

Tilley was born on January 13, 1932 in Peoria to Ray “Duke” and Eula Derges. She married Frederick Walton Allen on July 26, 1952 at the First United Methodist Church in Peoria. He survives.

Also surviving are three adoring daughters, Laura Allen Curfman of Peoria, Diane (Doug) Cullinan Oberhelman of Peoria and Rita Allen Graves of Peoria; seven grandchildren, Kathleen Cullinan (Tyson) Brill of Chicago, Maureen Cullinan (Christopher) Bennett of Chicago, Alison Cullinan (Matt) Unkovich of Peoria, Allen (Laura Schachtrup) Cullinan of Peoria, Crystal Curfman of Chicago, Collette Curfman of Tampa, FL and Whitney Graves of Fort Worth, TX; and 10, soon to be 11, great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Tilley attended Peoria High School and Stephens College in Columbia, MO. She was the “belle of the ball” and was the top model in her class at Stephens College while majoring in English.

Throughout her amazingly adventurous and full life, Tilley gave herself to several worthwhile community organizations. She volunteered for many years with the Salvation Army, the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and as a Girl Scout leader when her daughters were young.

Tilley was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Peoria, the Junior League of Peoria, the Country Club of Peoria, the Union League Club of Chicago, Springs Country Club of Rancho Mirage, CA, Old Baldy Club of Saratoga, WY and the Mascoutin Gold Club of Berlin, WI. She and Fred traveled the world, attending professional legal meetings, touring sites and making lifelong friends.

Tilley’s hobbies included travel, horseback riding, golf, archery, hunting for wild birds and swimming, yet, she mostly enjoyed spending time with her family. Her love for athletic activities started as a child, spending summers attending Camp Lake Hubert in Minnesota and Camp Cheley in Estes Park/Schley, CO. She carried fond memories of those summers throughout her life.

Friends and family said Tilley was “quite the daredevil,” having experienced canoeing in the wild, sailing, hang gliding and scuba diving. She was one of the first in her class to visit Cuba and was sought after by many famous movie stars and photographers. She was also highlighted in the November 1952 issue of Pageant Magazine along with Marilyn Monroe.

She was always interested in participating in all her grandchildren’s activities. She was a wonderful grandmother to her grandchildren, having them over for sleepovers throughout childhood, taking care of them on sick days from school and giving them countless rides to activities and friends’ houses. On a family trip to a water park, Tilley accepted the challenge to go down one of the highest waterslides in the country. The water park staff said she was the eldest person ever to go down the slide. She loved the experience, as did her grandchildren.

Above all, Tilley loved her family and was a devoted wife and mother. Her exuberance, humor, caring and kindness left an indelible mark. Her last words were, “I love Fred so much!”

Tilley’s warm smile and contagious laugh brought joy to so many people. She had an unmatched energy and zest for life. This world was a brighter, happier place with Tilley in it, and she will be so missed.

A Celebration of Life, open to all who want to celebrate Tilley’s life, will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27, 2018, at the Country Club of Peoria, 4700 Grandview Drive in Peoria Heights, IL. A private family burial will be at Springdale Cemetery, with the Reverend Danny Motta officiating, before the Celebration of Life.
Memorials may be made to the OSF St. Francis Hospital Foundation or the UnityPoint Health Methodist Foundation.

Arrangements were handled through The Wilton Mortuary in Peoria.

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




4:30 PM 10/27/2018 4:30:00 PM - 6:30 PM 10/27/2018 6:30:00 PM
Peoria Country Club

4700 Grandview Drive
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

Peoria Country Club
4700 Grandview Drive Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Cemetery Details


Springdale Cemetery Final Resting Place

3401 N. Prospect Road
Peoria, IL 61603

3401 N. Prospect Road Peoria 61603 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

OSF St. Francis Medical Center Foundation

530 NE Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, IL 61637

UnityPoint Health - Methodist Foundation

120 NE Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, IL 61603

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