Friday, November 8, 2013

Tillie Thorpe Treasure House's Treasure


It is with heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of our former Manager, Tillie Thorpe.  Tillie has been managing life with ALS for 2 years now and her earthly life has ended

Tillie was Manager at Treasure House for over 8 years, and volunteer for over 15.   In that time she made friends with folks from all over the world and from all walks of life.

She loved nothing more than greeting you at the door with a warm hello, a beaming smile and a shoulder to shoulder hug!   She was the brains, muscle and voice of the shop.   Folks would stop in just to see her!    Even if she had only met you once, she would remember your name, she would remember a little bit about your family and would ask how they were doing.  She genuinely cared.

Her kindness was felt by numerous community service members over the years. She adored teaching and the "teacher" taught them a lot!  They learned how to respect authority,  polish silver, clean shelves,  haul bins,  sort and make order were there may have been little.  I believe every community service member was better for their experience with her.  Many would return to say hello and share with her how their lives were changed and what they were doing now.

Tillie's work ethic never ceased.  Many a late night or Sunday, one would find Tillie and Jere at Treasure  House.  Jere retrieving emails, and Tillie toiling away.  well after shop hours and late into the night.    She believed, even given the limited space she and the volunteers worked with  for so many years,  it should still be a beautiful place to shop.  She did the best she was able with what she was given, beginning with the days of the little folding card table... and then transitioning to the more modern check out  and sorting space.  She longed for the shop to be modern and beautiful!

She and the Denny's ( Anne and Bob) were instrumental in getting the new construction underway and supervised the process along the way.  The decisions they made, made Treasure House the show stopper and award winner, it is today!

It was often mentioned of Tillie that she was a true "Ladies Lady".  She was lovely from head to toe.  I remember when the renovation began.  Tillie wore a yellow jacket with black pants.  We walked out back of the shop, where the construction was beginning...and lo and behold,  planned or not... her outfit matched the bright yellow and black Case construction tractor!  (It was the perfect photo op! I have that snapshot forever in my mind...Tillie standing with her  dansko shoes covered in freshly cleared soil and leaning squarely on the tractor with a smile from ear to ear! )  THAT was Tillie's style.  Looking amazing, Always.

Every day, since Tillie left,  folks ask about her.  They recall her kind ways.   As one customer put it "it was her  gentle kindness.  It would not matter if you were a Rockafeller or homeless just in off the streets, she treated you with the same respect. NO matter your status in life"  With a polite smile,  she would accept each and every donation that graced the door.  No matter how broken or full of cob webs... She didn't believe in turning ANYONE or anything away.  Folks remember that.

NO matter how YOU knew Tillie.  you knew that she loved her family first and foremost.  Jere was her rock !   Beth and Ernie and their families were at the forefront of her thoughts.    She delighted in travels to spend time with them.

Like family... was how she treated each and every volunteer.  She loved the occasional Treasure House "gossip"  even in her last days she wanted to know the ins and outs and goings on at the shop.  Last Sunday in the hospital, Marj and I visited and shared stories with her... she expressed a thumbs up when we mentioned some of the things we were doing at the shop.    Even as her days were coming to an end... she was interested in MY family.  asking how my children were. Giving a resounding and eager thumbs up when I mentioned my childrens successes. It was amazing to see her Live well... and teach us how to come to life's end with grace.  ( always the teacher)

If you take one thing with you when you walk out the doors of Treasure House... please take the gift that Tillie was blessed with and often shared,  The gift of kindness.  The ability to "Scatter kindness" everywhere! .    Let's let her legacy be that of sharing a smile with a stranger, helping someone in need and laughing EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!

In the glass half empty world... Tillie's cup was OVERFLOWING with optimism, kindness,  compassion, love and life!

THAT is the way she will be remembered!

One final note:

I am sure Tillie is being warmly greeted by Marlene ( as we speak) , one of our treasured  Thursday night volunteers and longtime friend, along with so many Treasure House friends who have gone before.  They are probably up there getting ready to sit down to a game of  bridge, sharing stories and some of tillies amazing coffee cake and enjoying a glass of wine!  If I know Tillie, she is probably helping the good Lord prepare a table...with lots of polished silver and candles!

She will be missed!

1 comment:

  1. I volunteered at the Treasure House and was under Tillies supervision for some time,. I now live in Maine and just so happened to look on line to see how she was doing and was sad to see that she had passed! She was a true lady with a great attitude and lots of class. She had offered me an assistant manager position but since I was moving away, i was unable to accept the position. Rest in peace, Tillie!