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Martha E. Pillows

Martha E. Pillows passed away Saturday morning (Jan. 30, 2021) at Country Health Care & Rehab, Gifford. She finally found her way back to you, Dad.

Martha was born March 7, 1944, in Russellville, Ala., to Bithie and William Gabriel. They moved to Rockford in 1960, where Martha went to West High School and Rock Valley College. She worked at Atwood Industries for several years, as well as in retail and antiques. She married William Pillows on New Year’s Eve 1966. Together, they traveled, gardened and eventually retired to Whitehouse, Texas, in 1994, where she continued her work at Tyler Square Antiques until she moved back to Illinois to be near family.

Martha loved the garden: planning, planting, tending and seeing the enjoyment it brought to other people. She loved traveling to visit her grandchildren and taking road trips with friends. She was always happy to give you her honest opinion, whether you asked for it or not.

Left with a lifetime of memories are her daughter, Kim (Mike) Freemon, and son, Bill Pillows, both of Champaign. She had a very special place in her heart for her nephew, James Gabriel, and niece, Mindy (Jessica) Brown, both of Tuscola, who will dearly miss their Auntie Mom. She will be remembered by nieces and nephews, Keith and Keenan Gabriel, Adam Lackner and Rose and Christian Gabriel, and will be reunited with her brother, Paul; sister, Juanita; and nieces, Frankie and Pam.

Martha adored her grandchildren, Ben (Ioana) Thoren of Bucharest, Romania, Thomas (Avani) Thoren of Austin, Texas, Jakob Pillows of Denver, Will and Lark Wentworth of Champaign and Kristle and Amanda Bryan of Texas. And she was so happy to be great-grandmama to Miriam.

A small graveside service for family will be held in Tyler, Texas, at a later date. You may leave condolences and memories at

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