This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.

John B. (Jack) Tilley of Middletown, RI, passed away on May 1, 2020 in comfort with his family at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center after a brief illness. 

He was born in Newport, RI, on January 10, 1924 to Chester and Elizabeth (Quinn) Tilley. He graduated Rogers High School in 1942 where the yearbook noted that “Jack made himself famous here at Rogers by his work on the football field and on the basketball court.”  He served in the Navy during WW2 and 30 years as Chief Petty Officer in the reserves. He earned undergraduate degrees from Bryant College and Salve Regina, and Master’s degree from URI. Jack was a retired Newport Police Captain serving from 1949 to 1979. He enjoyed retirement very much and spent time with his family both in Middletown and in Florida. In both his professional and private life, Jack was a man of honesty and integrity and a congregant of St. Joseph’s and St. Lucy’s Catholic Churches. He was an avid reader and a knowledgeable fan of the Red Sox and Patriots.

He was much loved by all.  He will be remembered for his tennis playing, wry sense of humor, and many lifelong friendships.

He is survived by his children Lynda Volz and husband Jim; Dyan St. Germain and husband Neil Gossen; Paul Tilley; Arthur Tilley; Susan Tilley Moniz; Patrick Tilley and wife Stephanie; and Mathew Tilley; and beloved niece Vivian Robinson and her husband Ernie. Jack is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his wife Grace Dalton Tilley, two sons Michael and James Tilley and his sister Eileen Tilley Boiani.

Due to the current restrictions on public gatherings, there will be a memorial service held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center, 1085 N. Main St, Providence, RI 02904 or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, to share memories and messages of support with the family please visit

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to