Andrea Cavagnaro Tillman, an East Hampton native and an active member of the Mattituck community, died on Aug. 7 at the San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Greenport. She was 64 and had been comatose since suffering a stroke in 1984.
As a young woman, Ms. Tillman taught Sunday school at the Mattituck Presbyterian Church, wrote the Mattituck news column in The Traveler-Watchman newspaper, supported the Mattituck Library’s expansion project, and served on the board of the North Fork Environmental Council.
While pursuing her education in the sciences, she worked as a nursing assistant and in the medical records department at Central Suffolk Hospital, and was a Riverhead Ambulance Corps volunteer.
Born on March 22, 1947, she was the daughter of Trieste George Cavagnaro, who owned Cavagnaro’s Delicatessen and Grocery in East Hampton, and Merle Cavagnaro, formerly Merle Allen, who was a secretary at East Hampton High School.
Ms. Tillman spent her early years in Alabama, where her mother had a number of close relatives, but returned with her family to East Hampton, graduating from high school here in 1965. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University at Stony Brook in 1969 and became a teacher of third and fourth grades at the Middle Country School District in Lake Grove.
She met her future husband, Arthur Tillman, at the Post House in Southampton, then a popular place for young singles. They were married at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton in 1970.
Starting and raising a family was a priority for Ms. Tillman, according to her family. The Tillmans had three children, and she was a “doting, generous, and resourceful” mother, the family said. Skilled at sewing, she often designed and made her children’s clothing, and made elaborate holiday foods and decorations. She played the piano, and encouraged her children’s musical education.
She is survived by her husband and daughters, Lahra Tillman of Cambridge, Mass., Leah Sullivan of Mattituck, and Catherine Fledderjohn of Silver Spring, Md. She also leaves a brother, Richard Cavagnaro of Southold, and two grandchildren.
Visiting hours took place on Tuesday at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck. Burial at New Bethany Cemetery in Mattituck followed a Mass yesterday morning at the Mattituck Presbyterian Church, the Rev. George Gaffga presiding.
Memorial donations have been suggested to the Andrea Tillman Memorial Employee Assistance Program Fund at San Simeon by the Sound in Greenport. They can be sent to the center at 61700 Route 48, Greenport 11944.