Ardiene Carol Tilly, 82, of Tryon died Thursday, Sept. 6 at Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills in Landrum.
She was born Dec. 18, 1929 in Milwaukee, Wisc., the daughter of John and Lillian Lang. She was the first in her family and one of the first in her Milwaukee community of friends and neighbors to attend college; many in the community contributed funds to help her achieve her educational goals. She graduated from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill. with a bachelor's degree in mathematics.
Ardiene married Laurence J. Tilly just after college, and they had five children. She was proud of having moved 40 times in her life, living in Stanford, Calif., Jamestown, N.D., Iowa City, Ia., Washington, D.C. and many other places before eventually settling in Aiken, S.C.
She taught math and adult education classes in Washington, D.C. and Aiken County, S.C. public schools and at the University of South Carolina at Aiken, retiring in 1992. A dedicated teacher whose interest in students went far beyond the classroom, she coached math competition teams, led a backpacking club and decorated for many proms and other special events. Even now, her children meet former students who remember her fondly. Ardiene loved family get-togethers, especially when they involved water, boats and/or camping. She instilled in her children and students an appreciation of the outdoors and a love of adventure. She once spent an entire summer tent camping all along the coast from South Carolina to the Florida Keys and back, alone with five young children, an experience her children remember as one of the best in their lives.
Ardiene moved to the Tryon area in 1999. She was active in the Polk County Democratic Party and volunteered with Meals on Wheels.
She is survived by three daughters, Diane T. Davidson (John) of Duluth, Minn. and St. Louis, Mo., Barbara Tilly of Tryon and Carol T. Hand (Dr. Gregory) of Columbia, S.C.; two sons, David Tilly (Amy) of Spruce Pine, N.C. and Randy Tilly of Hilton Head, S.C.; eight grandchildren, Linnie D. Dean (William) of St. Louis, Mo., Anne Davidson of Chicago, Ill., Tradd Davidson of Manchester, N.H., Malia Ferguson of Marietta, Ga., Jamie Ferguson of Los Angeles, Calif., Kyle Tilly (Laura) of Gastonia, N.C. and Alyssa Tilly and Anya Tilly, both of Spruce Pine, N.C. She is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Savannah Jean, Harper Anne, Zoe Marie and Faolin James, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a sister, Audrey Betty Lang Gaffrey Bullock.
The family thanks the staff at White Oak Manor - Tryon for their years of compassionate care and also expresses its gratitude to the staff at Hospice of the Carolina Foothills.
A Celebration of Life Drop-In will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 from 2-4 p.m. in the Great Room at FENCE. For driving directions, visit www.fence.org. A family memorial service will be held the weekend of Oct. 13-14 on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Memorials may be made to the Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, P.O. Box 127, Landrum, S.C. 29356 or online at www.hocf.net or to the Foothills Music Club scholarship fund, P.O. Box 463, Lynn, N.C. 28750.