EAST HARTFORD — Tillie Brinkman, 95, passed away on August 4, 2021, at Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center in East Hartford. She previously lived in Oakville and Watertown.
She was born to the late Viola and Michael Grosso on June 25, 1926, in Waterbury. Tillie graduated from Watertown High School in 1944. She married Harry Brinkman and they lived in Oakville.
Tillie is survived by her four daughters, Cheryl Morgan of Pennsylvania, Susan Sklanka of Maine, Lynn Malone of Colorado and Mary Voghel of Connecticut; 10 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; her sister, Ruth Diorio, and her brother, Michael Grosso. Tillie was predeceased by her husband in 1977.
She spent many years enjoying her life with her dear friend Roy Dilger. They enjoyed trips to the senior center, playing bingo and dancing. They were members of All Saints with Christ Episcopal Church in Oakville and attended regularly.
Tillie as a young girl was known as “little girl wonder” because she sang and danced with local bands at summer concerts at Fulton Park in Waterbury during the Big Band era. She was often referred to as “Shirley Temple” because of her talent and bubbly personality.
Her love for music and dance followed her through her life and she never hesitated to break into song or dance and loved to give a little “shimmy” at any opportunity. This passion followed her to the end. At her 90th birthday party, a Dean Martin impersonator, Jack Lynn, entertained the gathering and each year after. He was a great entertainer, celebrating her birthday, including her last, the 95th.
Whenever Tillie entered a room her million-dollar smile and vivacious personality would light up the room. She will always be remembered as a selfless woman who loved life and being with her family and friends.
There will be a private celebration of her life at a later date. The family has requested any donations may be made to Southmayd Home in Waterbury or the Alzheimer’s Association.