Susan Bagby Tilley (1938 - 2014)

  • "I just heard the sad news. Susan Tilley was an amazing..."
    - Delia Shiflet
  • "To Angela and all the Tilley family, Losing one's mother is..."
    - Eleanor Latimer
  • "We just heard the news of Susan's passing this life...She..."
    - Paul Tripplehorn
  • "I am deeply sorry to hear of Susan's passing. She was a..."
    - Jack Haesly

Tilley, Susan Bagby FORT WORTH -- Susan Bagby Tilley, 76, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. Memorial service: 2 p.m. Friday at University Christian Church. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, her memory may be honored with a gift to the Van Cliburn Foundation or the Kravis Center. Susan was born Jan. 31, 1938, in Dallas to Roxye Nugent Bagby and Nathe Parks Bagby. She graduated as salutatorian at Woodrow Wilson High School and from SMU with a degree in journalism. She was Miss Dallas and first runner-up Miss Texas. She was the first female editor of the SMU campus newspaper, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Upon graduation, she became the editor of company newspaper at General Dynamics. She was the first chairman of Mayfest in 1973, was heavily involved with Phyllis Tilley in the beginning of Streams & Valleys, a board member of American Symphony Orchestra League from 1993 to 2003, board member of the Fort Worth Junior League and member of The Assembly. Furthermore, she was chairman of Van Cliburn Foundation from 1985 to 1994, traveling around the world, including a trip to Moscow as representative to the Tchaikovsky competition. She was also chairman of the board of directors for three Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions, 1985, 1989 and 1993. She then started her own company, Performing Artists International. She arranged Cliburn's 1987 comeback concert at the White House for an audience that included Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and accompanied the pianist on his 1989 tour to the Soviet Union. With Philippe Entremont, she founded The Santo Domingo Music Festival in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Santo Domingo Music Festival is an international event devoted to classical music. The festival, which started in 1997, is presented every two years at the Santo Domingo National Theater. She was also regional arts administrator responsible for booking the classical performances at The Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., from 1997 to 2009. She was an avid sportswoman competitively playing tennis and soccer, as well as coaching her daughters' soccer team, the Red Hots, to a city championship. She loved her kids and grandkids. She was a night owl who loved spicy food and was known to carry a bottle of Tabasco in her purse. She had world-class Trivial Pursuit competitions with CB Hyde, and was also an avid backgammon player with her friends. She loved classical music, but could be heard listening to Johnny Cash while she drove carpool. She passed away with her children and Marcus Snyder at her side listening to Van Cliburn and Rachmaninoff. Survivors: Daughters, Marisa Tilley Hammond, Angela Tilley Crates and her husband, John, and Lisa Tilley Leonard; son, Rice Matthews Tilley III and his wife, Michelle; grandchildren, Tripp and Parker Hammond, Chandler, Cameron and Campbell Crates, Lucy and Samantha Leonard, and Morgan and Rice Tilley; sisters, Martha Bagby Hill Dubar and Dorothy Bagby Seemann; and nieces and nephews, Dudley Snyder, Marcus Snyder, Susan Hill Dearinger, Jeff Hill, Jennifer Seemann Wellborn and Charles Seemann III. Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home and Crematory 702 Eighth Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76104, 817-336-0345

Funeral Home
Thompson's Harveson & Cole
702 Eighth Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76106
Funeral Home Details
Published in Dallas Morning News on Aug. 14, 2014