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Frank passed peacefully at St. Peter’s Hospital with family at his side. He was the 5th of 6 children born to Julius & Marie Tillo. Frank was one of the few remaining from “The Great Generation”. He is also on a very short list of people who were born, lived & died in the 6th Ward.

Frank attended St. Mary’s grade school and graduated from Helena High in 1948. After his school, he entered the Montana National Guard and spent the next 30 years as a flight instructor and mechanic. He is the last of troop “N” Air. During those 30 years, he was involved in many business ventures, ranging from garage doors, to subdivisions, to being on the board of directors for the Eagles Manor. In 1949 he married Mildred Cross, also from the 6th Ward. They would have been married 70 years in September. Together, Frank and Millie have four children. They also have 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

Frank had many talents. He was athletic, handsome, generous, hardworking, and kind. He was a boxer, a singer, a piano player, a husband, and a father. He was strong, faithful, a brother, a son, and a friend. While Frank sang, his daughter Patti accompanied him on the piano. He sang for weddings, funerals and Christmas Midnight Mass, and was a member of the Barbershop Quartet. He was a remarkable artist. He was born with that gift, which many of us wish we had. His artwork can be seen in any of his children’s homes or on full display at his own.

Frank left many legacies, but his cabin on the Little Blackfoot remains his finest. It has remained in the family for 62 years. Frank, Millie and the four children could be seen on any summer or fall weekend at the cabin.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Julius & Marie, brothers, Joe & George, sisters, Mary Lou & Rosemary, and twin granddaughters.

He is survived by his wife, Mildred, daughter, Patti Piedelue, sons, Tom (Viki) Tillo, David (Vickie) Tillo, Jon Tillo, daughter-in-law, Debb Tillo, and brother, Dick, all of Helena. He was also survived by countless nieces and nephews.

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His family will receive friends from 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13th at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave. in Helena. Burial with military honors will follow the gathering of friends.

In honor of Frank, do something kind for your neighbor. Please visit to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Frank. Oh, by the way - cause of death - his heart stopped.

the life of: Frank R. Tillo
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