Tanya A. Pillow, Ph.D.

Age 64, of Lansing, passed away June 22, 2012. She was born October 17, 1947, in Cincinnati, OH, the daughter of Howard and Juanita Armstrong.

Tanya graduated with an Ed.S. degree from MSU and went on to earn her doctorate from LaSalle University. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Phi Delta Kappa. Tanya was an educator for 41 years. She spent 8 years in Cincinnati and the last 33 years with the Lansing School District, retiring in 2010 as a Special Education Administrator. She was a longtime member of Friendship Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband of 35 years, J. Michael Pillow, Sr.; 4 children, Kenneth Hickman, Sr., Scott Hickman, Andre Pillow and J. Michael (Monetté) Pillow, Jr.; 5 grandchildren; and a host of cousins and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents.

The funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 30, 2012, at Friendship Baptist Church, 2912 Pleasant Grove Rd., Lansing, with the Rev. Dr. Clyde D. Carnegie officiating. A family hour will be held one hour prior to the service. Entombment will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association or hospice of the donor’s choice.

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10 Messages to “Tanya A. Pillow, Ph.D.

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Deborah Sudduth
June 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Michael & Family, I am lifting you all up in prayer! God will take care of you all! Keep looking to Him! I love you all! Tanya is now your guardian angel forever!

Ian LeVine
June 25, 2012 at 9:45 am

A more upstanding person or truer friend I will never know. I am so fortunate to have had Tanya in my life since 1984. Your aura will prevail Tanya and your positive influence on the children, families and co-workers whom you touched will be felt long into the future. Thanks for helping make us all better people.

Felicia Turrentine Wasson
June 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

What a generous and peaceful soul. She will be terribly missed. Thank you for sharing her with us all. She has touched many people and her legacy will continue for generations to come. Well done, you have earned your rest, Mrs. Pillow. We will continue to keep your family in our prayers.

John Shinsky
June 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Tanya was an exceptional person who always gave 110% to support children. Her love and care for children with disabilities was at the core of her service. She was a true professional who took her job seriously. She was loved by many and respected for her dedication to the service of others. It was a privilege to work with Tanya for almost 30 years. She left an imprint that will be everlasting. My thoughts and prayers are with Tanya’s family, which includes the Lansing School District Special Education team. One of our many angels is now serving in a greater place. With sympathy and admiration of a life filled with love and service.

Barbara Radigan
June 25, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I had the privilege of working with Tanya at the former Team A of the Special Education Department. She was exceptional in her work and in her personal life. My heart is heavy for her loss and my prayers are with her family during this time.

Kittie Lynch
June 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Dr. Pillow was an inspiration to many in her dedication and professionalism to the children of whom she served. I had the pleasure of having her as an instructor at Spring Arbor University where she shared her many gifts with stories of her many years of service and the changes she experienced in the field of special education. She will be truly missed, but never forgotten for her kindness and generosity to all those who were fortunate to have been in one or another of her life circles. God Bless you, Tanya, and may your family be comforted by the memories and care you put into their making.

Hille Waddles
June 26, 2012 at 11:51 am

Dr. Pillow was my instructor and mentor in the Special Education program at Spring Arbor University. Of the many fine instructors in that program, none compared to Dr. Pillow in giving of herself and going “above and beyond” for her students. I am truly blessed to have had Dr. Pillow share her expertise, wisdom, and bright spirit with me. I just wish I had met her sooner in both of our life journeys. Fair travel to the land of the ancestors, Dr. Pillow, you will be sorely missed.

John Sougstad
June 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

A Dakota Indian Proverb says, “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” Looking back on the years I spent working with Tanya in the LSD, I know her tracks are many, profound and inspirational. I will always cherish knowing her intelligence, tenacity, devotion to justice, her love of family and friends, as well as her humble, generous and benevolent spirit. Most of all I will remember her good sense of humor and sincere laughter. I am grateful our paths crossed. I wish to extend my deepest condolences to Tanya’s family, and hope that amidst your grief you all will find solace in fond memories.

Tiffany Dillard
June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I am a friend of her son Jay (Monette’), from Dayton. My condolences to Mr. Pillow, Jay, and Andre. You will all be in my prayers. I am sorry for your loss, but HEAVEN is so much SWEETER now. Stay blessed!

Tyler Walker
December 8, 2014 at 6:34 am

I am not exactly sure how to internalize my feelings at this moment. You are truly my angel and I thank you for watching over me and my mom (Roxie) every day. There are times where I get lost in school or just the whole process of growing up and wonder how am I going to handle finals or exams. I think of our conversations and all of your accomplishments and I know I can pull through. Well Mrs. Tanya, I am graduating next year! I miss you so much and my birthday is still hard for me, but I know I share it with the most wonderful women of all. I would love for you to come talk to me sometime, I miss seeing you in your little red car and fur coats. I wish I could have been in school to take one of your classes. I never thought that day at the hospital would be my last time seeing you, watching my mom do your hair each week and helping you dress..man, you loved your turbans! I love you so much and thank you because I wouldn’t have understood how important my relationship with my mother is without you.
Love, Tyler (10-17)


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