In Memoriam: Elma (Babs) Viola Brown Till (May 18, 1931 – Feb. 3, 2022)

February 2022 Posted in Obituary


Elma Viola Brown Till, of Silverton, Oregon passed away on Feb. 3, 2022 at home, surrounded by family. She was 90. Elma (“Babs”), wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother was born on May 18, 1931 in Saskatchewan, Canada to Kenneth and Bertha Brown, and in 1937 moved to Oregon with her parents. She attended grade school in Aurora, Oregon and Canby High School and Mount Angel Teacher’s College. Babs taught 4th grade for two years at Canby Elementary School and later taught 3rd grade at Monitor Elementary School for 17 years.

In 1952, she married Vincent (Jerry) Gerard Till in Mount Angel, Oregon, and together they had four children, Donna, Rose, Cecelia and Helen. During 1954-1968, Babs raised her family with her husband, Jerry, as tours of military duty in the United States Air Force took the family to various air bases throughout the U.S. From 1961 to 1967, Babs volunteered at Hamilton Air Force Base in California where she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for her work in the social services department. After retirement, she went on to volunteer for the Silverton Chamber of Commerce, Silverton Hospital and the Silverton Mural Society.

In 1994, Babs volunteered once again and became an active member of the Silverton Mural Society serving as its secretary and participating in fund raising events, which continued for more than 20 years. In 1999, she and her husband were honored as Silverton’s First Citizens for their countless contributions to the community of Silverton. She and her husband were passionate square dancers for over 45 years, including dancing with the Willamette Squares.

Babs was always kind, giving and enjoyed people. She loved to bake cookies and share them with family and friends – she will be greatly missed. She is survived by her daughters, Donna Till Zimmer, Rose Till Walton, Cecelia Till Tobey and Helen Till Kelley; sons-inlaw, James Zimmer, Jimmie Walton, Kevin Tobey, Phil Kelley; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Her husband, Vincent (Jerry) Gerard Till, and sisters, Oreta (Tiney) Brown Yergen, and Patricia Brown Bernt predeceased Babs.

A private family memorial was held on Feb. 12, 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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