SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A processional followed a service for a former Spartanburg Fire Chief Saturday.

According to the Spartanburg Fire Department, Albert (Tilly) Tillotson passed away Tuesday. He was 99.

Tillotson served the Spartanburg City Fire Department for 36 years, Spartanburg Fire said. Tillotson was appointed Fire Chief on January 1, 1967 and served as Fire Chief for 19 years.

Chief Tilly grew up in Spartanburg and graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1939, officials said. Chief Tilly served in United States Army Air Corps during World War II in the European theater.

The fire department said he joined the department under Chief W. O. Blackwell on June 12, 1950.

As a firefighter, he was given the opportunity learn all aspects of the departments operations, according to Spartanburg Fire. He was assigned as Chief W. O. Blackwell’s administrative assistant while working through various positions within the department.

Once he became Fire Chief, the department added three new fire stations and improved working conditions for personnel by changing shift hours to 24 hours on and 24 hours off schedule.

While being a Fire Chief, he served as President of the South Carolina Firefighter Association for a year from 1980 to 1981.

He then retired to a quiet life on the east side of Spartanburg.

“Chief Tilly had a gentle demeanor and was not afraid to tackle hard issues but preferred to settle differences through sensible cooperation by taking the ‘high road’,” Spartanburg Fire Department officials said.

Receiving of friends was Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Dunbar Funeral Home at 11 a.m. and was followed by a service at 12 p.m. in the chapel located at 690 Southport Rd. Roebuck, SC. 29376.

A burial procession to Greenlawn Memorial Gardens on Fernwood-Glendale Rd. in Spartanburg was after the service