RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – A Russellville family is mourning a loss they say no one saw coming. The loved ones of Jeremy Tillman said he died suddenly while helping his son move into college.
Elizabeth Goodson is the fiancé of 45-year-old Jeremy Tillman. She said on Saturday he died at a hospital after helping his son move into his dorm at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
“He came through the door and he was in obvious distress,” Goodson added. “He just had a very sudden medical event as we were moving things in. I guess he may have strained too hard.”
According to the incident report from university police officers were called to the 2500 block of Danner Ave on the Arkansas State University campus just before 10 a.m. on reports of a man who was not breathing.
They found Tillman on the ground and several rounds of CPR were administered. Goodson said it was a traumatic event.
“I will say the school did a very good job of assisting in every way possible and making sure everyone was moved,” Goodson said.
She goes on to say Tillman was an amazing father, they had a blended family of 11 children.
“He has children that are his and children that aren’t biologically his and he just took everyone in and loved them like his own so he is deeply loved by all of his children,” Goodson said.
Goodson said he was always there for his children.
“If he could help it he would never miss any of their events and he was always there and I feel like as a father he was always understanding,” Goodson said.
His death happened within 2 months of them getting engaged, she says every plan they made together is changing like her wearing her engagement dress to his funeral.
“There is just a void in our lives that will just never be filled, he was irreplaceable,” Goodson said.
Goodson said their love was once in a lifetime and he was a wonderful man to everyone he met.
“I know a lot of people often say it but he never met a stranger, he was always really friendly, outgoing and everyone loved him,” Goodson said.
Goodson said although everyone is grieving, they are doing it as a family.
“As a family everyone just leans on one another. We have a good circle of friends and this is a great community to lean on everyone just kind of rallies around one another,” Goodson said.
Tillman’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Dardanelle, his family is taking any donations at the Cornwell Funeral Home.