Matilda (“Tilly”) Faulkner Maassen was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to the late Matilda Treanor and Hugh Kenneth Faulkner, died peacefully July 13th, 2023, in Wilmington, Delaware. As a daughter of a rising plant manager within the DuPont Company, Tilly’s early years were spent in Old Hickory, Tennessee, but she then moved successively to Buffalo, New York; Richmond, Virginia; Fairfield, Connecticut; Lake City, Missouri; and Ilion, New York, where she was a high school cheerleader and a National Honor Student. After graduating from Vassar College in 1955 with a degree in early childhood education, she accepted a position at the Wilmington Friends School where she taught 3rd grade.
She met and married the late Frederick Karl Maassen with whom she had three sons: Kirk, Christian and Erik. Tilly was a member of the Junior League in Wilmington and sang in her church choir. When the Maassens moved to Geneva, Switzerland, she exercised many opportunities to see and experience Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with her family.
After six years abroad, she and the family returned to Wilmington where she sang in the choir at Christ Church. She was also among the first members of her church to become a Stephen Minister trained to provide care for other members experiencing difficult times in life. She further served on the Vestry welcoming new members.
Sparked by her father’s hobby, Tilly pursued her passion for early American antiques at Winterthur Museum, where she volunteered as a guide and later worked as a docent for almost forty years. She immersed herself studying various styles of furniture, creating specialized tours on what she had learned. What Tilly enjoyed most was getting to know her guests and adapting the tour to their specific interests. After retiring from Winterthur, her inquisitive nature and love of family history led Tilly to compile many ancestral documents qualifying her for membership to the National Society of Colonial Dames.
At Country House in Wilmington, Tilly actively served others as an area representative for her fellow residents and as a Hospice Care volunteer.
Tilly’s most prized pursuits were intentional caring relationships with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She would be sure to send notes, related newspaper articles, birthday cards, make phone and zoom calls, in turn wanting to know the latest news from their lives. As the true sport she was, her visits would usually entail experiencing the latest sporting activity that any of the grands were involved in such as camping, canoeing, skiing, motorcycling, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, and auto sports to name a few. What she was most widely known for were her warm greetings, kind encouraging words and diligent follow-ups with a thoughtful card or note.
Tilly is survived by her sons Kirk (Anne) of Marietta, GA, Christian (Rae Fletcher) of Newark, DE, Erik of Westland, MI; her grandchildren Karl (Amy), Kenneth, Josh (Mollie) Murauskas, Seth (Noelle) Murauskas, Adam (Rebecca) Murauskas, Elijah, Philip (Theresa), Julia (Joe) Dessert and Nickolas; her eight great-grandchildren; two nieces and their four children. She is predeceased by her sister, Anna Faulkner Clark and brother-in-law David W. Clark, Jr.
A Celebration of Life Service will be Saturday, August 12th 2pm at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, 505 E Buck Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807.
The family and Tilly would request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her memory to Winterthur Museum,5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE 19735, or Christ Church Christiana Hundred,505 Buck Road, Wilmington, DE 19807.
For online condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com