Frank A. Tillman, age 79, of Lake Ozark, Missouri, passed away Sunday, February 26, 2017 at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Missouri.
Frank was born July 22, 1937 in Linn, Missouri. He was the son of Clarence and Josephine (Balkenbusch). The unfortunate early passing of his father started him working at the age of nine. This work ethic carried throughout his life. Frank was an athlete through high school and went to college at Lincoln University on a basketball scholarship. He soon realized that academia was his passion. On January 31, 1959 in Washington, Missouri, Frank was united in marriage to Barbara Langendoerfer and they shared 58 years together at the time of his death. Working full-time to support his family and going to school full-time he earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri. He worked at Standard Oil of Ohio and attended Case Institute working on his Ph.D. in Operations Research. He was awarded a Ford Foundation grant to finish his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in Industrial Engineering.
After graduating, he moved his family to Manhattan, Kansas and took a position as a Professor at Kansas State University. A year later, at 29, he became Head of the Department of Industrial Engineering. Frank loved academics. He mentored many students throughout his career that have become very successful and kept in touch with him over time. As Professor and Department Head, he was a founder of the KSU Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, and was involved in Alpha Pi Mu, ABET accreditation, was an Institute of Industrial Engineering fellow, wrote fifty-four papers and two books during his time on the faculty and was awarded emeritus statusupon his departure from the university. Frank began his real estate development career during this time as well, developing a number of housing communities in Manhattan, Kansas. In 1972, he received a Presidential appointment to U.S. President Nixon's Price Commission and moved his family to Washington DC for a short time.
He then began consulting businesses which drew him from academia to the business world as his primary career. He operated two successful consulting companies with many contracts with government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. He spent the next twenty years managing these firms with offices in Manhattan and Washington DC. Frank also continued his real estate activities with commercial and residential real estate. In Frank's later years, he published four books and four eBooks documenting his approach to problem solving and applying theory to practical solutions.
Frank was very active in the community. He served two terms on the USD 383 School Board, served on multiple advisory councils and coached numerous basketball, softball and baseball teams. His Youth Activities Foundation supported numerous sports teams in Manhattan and Kansas City. Frank and Barbara additionally support a scholarship fund for Industrial Engineering students. One of his most treasured activities was coffee in the morning with KSU faculty and community members.
Of all of his abilities and passions, his family was always first and foremost to him. He was a man that cared for his family deeply and provided for them unceasingly. He was very involved in their lives and was happy to take them on family vacations to Disney World, ski trips, the Lake of the Ozarks and helping his kids and grandkids through college.
Frank touched many lives in his time here on earth, including students, athletes, business community members, faculty and friends. He always saw potential in people who were discouraged in engineering. He endlessly recruited for the Industrial Engineering Department. He always had an opinion and was happy to discuss it with you. He will be deeply missed by many.
Aside from his wife Barbara, Frank is survived by his daughters Michelle Hoyt of Lake Ozark, Missouri, Deandra Cassone of Spring Hill, Kansas, Lisa Lacey and husband, Ron, of Sunrise Beach, Missouri and son Alan Tillman of Lenexa, Kansas; five grandchildren, Kasey Blain and husband James, of Overland Park Kansas, Kristina Cassone, Victor Cassone and wife Chelsey, Benjamin Lacey and Nicolas Lacey; sisters Donna Tillman, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Catherine Jensen, of Pacific, Missouri, Elisabeth Reinsch, of St. Louis, Missouri, and Virginia Ames and husband, Ron, of Holt's Summit, Missouri; along with two great grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Josephine Tillman; and brothers, David and Joseph.
Visitation will be held Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 6:00-7:30 pm with a prayer service at 7:30 pm at Hedges-Scott Funeral Home in Osage Beach, Missouri.
Funeral Mass will be Friday, March 3 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Ozark, Missouri with a luncheon at Tucker-Shuckers, Osage Beach, Missouri.
Graveside Services and Interment will be at 4:30 pm at St. George Cemetery in Linn, Missouri.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the KSU Foundation Scholarship for the Tillman Fund T92190.