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Mike Tilma
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Mike Tilma passed away Friday, Feb. 12 at his home in Modesto.

He was born in Onderdendam, The Netherlands and moved to the United States with his family in 1955.

He was a mechanic for 35 years. The past 15 years he worked for the Central Valley Volkswagen Automotive Group. Last summer he became ill with lung cancer and had to leave his job as a shop foreman. His customers and co-workers loved his positive attitude, conscientious approach to his work and his kind and playful personality. He will be remembered for his generosity, sense of humor and his warm smile. He loved NASCAR racing, taking road trips with Nancy in his Audi TT, walking their dog, Sophie, and hanging out with his two cats. He will always hold a special place in everyone's heart.

Survivors include his loving companion, Nancy Elwess; two sisters, Eva Postma and Teri Lindeman; three brothers, Scott, Jim and John Tilma; nieces and nephews, Kristen, Danah, AnneMaria, Stephanie, Andrea, Christina, Edward, Tristan, Ryan and Blake.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Ann Tilma; and his sister, Janny.

A burial ceremony will be held at Burwood Cemetery in Escalon on Monday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. A gathering of family and friends will occur at the Café Bliss in Oakdale immediately following the burial ceremony.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements by Deegan Funeral Chapel in Escalon with an online guest book available at

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Feb. 17, 2010