Mary Ellen Tillmon went home to Jesus on October 1, 2020, at age 84. Humble Beginnings Mary Ellen was born to Mary Ellen Dennis, a teenager, on March 22, 1936 in Whitestone, VA. As a young child, she was adopted by the Rice family, who cared and loved her dearly. As an adolescent, Mary Ellen had a severe accident where she was blinded in one eye. Despite her injury, she excelled with honors in high school, college and graduate school academics. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the acclaimed HBCU, Saint Paul's College, Lawrenceville, VA, and her post-graduate studies at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where she achieved her Master's in Education Administration. She pledged and became a member of the first historically African American Greek lettered sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Career Driven Mary Ellen was a devoted educator in the Philadelphia, PA, public school system for 36 years. Hundreds of students and coworkers remembered her as a highly intelligent; enthusiastic; generous in spirit; impeccably dressed; a strong communicator; engaging; patient; and caring leader in the school system. Mary Ellen was awarded many achievements, but her most cherished and prestigious award was "Teacher of the Year 1977", signed by the President of the United States Jimmy Carter. Mary Ellen was a lifelong educator and dedicated the majority of her existence to equal education for all. Faith, Family and Love Mary Ellen met the love of her life, Maceo "Casey" Tillmon in 1962. They married one year later on New Year's Eve 1963, in Baltimore, MD. This union was blessed with two daughters, Terri Francois Tillmon and Candace Renee (Tillmon) Johnson. Casey designed and built a home and a lavish life of luxury for Mary Ellen in suburbs of South Jersey. They settled, worshiped and entertained in a small town Chesilhurst. In this rural community, Mary Ellen was actively involved as a member and a deaconess at Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church. Throughout her entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her. In addition to being a dedicated and loving wife, mother and lifelong educator, Mary Ellen also loved fashion; being a fur connoisseur; leisure traveling the world touring the most of the continents; tutoring others in the neighborhood; entertaining on holidays; staying actively involved in the PTA; Board of Education; local and national politics; along with holding various volunteer roles in the community and at her church. She was a pillar of righteousness, strength, and professed an unconditional love for Jesus Christ. Opened the Pearly Gates Our Heavenly Father opened the pearly gates to welcome His saved, beloved daughter and angel Mary Ellen. She joins her parents, Mary Jane and Adolphus, her brother, Larry, her loving husband Casey, devoted sisters in-laws and a host of friends in Heaven. Even though she left this Earth and all are sadden by her departure, we are comforted knowing she is with Jesus dwelling, in one of many mansions he has prepared for her. Her memories and the circle of love that she has left behind are her daughters, Terri, Candace; son in love Percy Johnson, Jr.; and her grandsons; Taiquan T. Holmes and Quran T. Holmes; Percy Johnson III ; Brandon I. Johnson; and Mekhi B. Johnson; extended family; friends; caregivers and sorority sisters.