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First employee of Mennonite Media dies at age 74


Dec 7, 2004
-by Melodie Davis

Harrisonburg, Va.— Mildred Graybill Tillman, the first paid employee of a then-fledging Mennonite radio program, died Nov. 23 in Easton, Pa.

Tillman, hired by Mennonite Broadcasts Inc. in 1952, played a significant role in the early development of the "Mennonite Hour"—first as a volunteer administrative assistant, and then as its first paid employee. She was secretary for B. Charles Hostetter, volunteer speaker on the program, who worked at that time as student pastor of Eastern Mennonite College.

Tillman’s organizational skills and her willingness to be a pioneer in a new venture and put up with less than ideal office conditions and limited staff were critical for the new program. She worked for Mennonite Broadcasts Inc. from 1952 through 1970; during those years, it became the official media outreach program of the Mennonite Board of Missions for the Mennonite Church, a predecessor agency of Mennonite Mission Network. Eventually Tillman became an accountant.

She is survived by her husband, David, a stepson, Darek of Phoenix, Ariz.; two sisters and two grandchildren. Services were held Nov. 29 in Bethlehem, Pa.