Cover photo for Leland Dean Tillman's Obituary
Leland Dean Tillman Profile Photo
1949 Leland 2024

Leland Dean Tillman

December 19, 1949 — May 1, 2024

Quay County, New Mexico

           Leland Dean Tillman passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and friends on May 1st, 2024. Leland was a dryland wheat farmer and cattle rancher in Quay County New Mexico on the land that his family homesteaded on in 1904.

            A native New Mexican, Leland graduated with a degree in journalism from Eastern New Mexico University in 1971. He started his career working at the Amarillo Globe News and Lubbock Avalanche Journal. He then became Executive Director of the Eastern Plains Council of Governors (District 4), a position he served in for 34 years. Leland brought the same care and dedication to his community duties as he did to his land. He served in leadership positions for the National Association of Developmental Organizations, including as President in 1996. Leland also received a presidential appointment as U.S. Commissioner and Chair of the Canadian River Compact Commission in April 1995. He was actively involved in other water-related organizations and served on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Water Dialogue, Inc., a non-profit organization which sponsored periodic statewide forums to facilitate citizen involvement in water resources issues. As an early proponent of regional water planning in New Mexico, he served on the Interstate Stream Commission’s “template committee,” which established the broad framework for regional water plans. He worked with the state of New Mexico to collect the first investment grade wind data on the edge of the caprock. The data supported the viability of commercial scale wind projects in New Mexico.
            Leland is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Debbie Porter Tillman, son Jason (Macy) Tillman of Wheatland, and daughter Raina Tillman Hornaday of Austin. He was a cherished grandfather to Nathan, Hannah, Jack, and Holly Quinn. Also survived by his devoted brother Lowell Tillman (Steve) of Palm Springs, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Berchell and Elda Tillman, brothers Laddie and Larry Tillman, and sister Lana Tillman Lujan. His legacy will continue to flourish in the land he loved and the lives he touched.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leland Dean Tillman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Central Church of Christ Chapel

1401 South Monroe Street, Amarillo, TX 79101

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Break at Russel's Travel Center

Friday, May 10, 2024

11:45am - 12:30 pm (Mountain time)

Russell's Truck & Travel Center

1583 Frontage Rd 4132, Glenrio, NM 88434

One of Leland's favorite local establishments.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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