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Louis Edward Tilden Jr. ’51

Published in Jan. 27, 1993, issue

ED DIED June 27, 1992, at his home in Evanston, III., apparently of emphysema. His career was largely spent in fund raising for Northwestern Univ., Easter Seats, and the Layton School of Art, in Milwaukee.

A Midwesterner to the core and a son of '221 Ed came to Princeton from Lake Forest Academy. He majored in English and was a member of Cap and Gown, the jazz club, and Triangle. He roomed with Lew Esler, Phil Matter, Phil Hungerford, and Bill Mettler. He served in the Navy From 1945 to 1947.

Ed's great love, however, was jazz, a calling by which few make a living. The music never stopped for Ed. At our 40th reunion he was invited to sit in on drums with the band that Penny and Ted Thomas had at their party. He was not well even then, but his skill and enthusiasm were contagious. As Bill Mettler has written, "He was just a warm, extremely funny person who was happiest when he was playing the drums."

Ed's second wife, Jane, died of cancer in 1985, eight months after their marriage. He lived alone but continued to play with jazz and Dixieland groups.

Ed is survived by his son Peter, his daughter Penny Anne, and his brother Rufus.

The Class mourns the death of one of its most memorable members.

The Class of 1951

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1 Remembrance posted for Louis Edward Tilden Jr.

Penny Anne Tilden Says:

2012-03-26 10:17:26

Dad, I miss you. I thought you might like to know that your grandson, Aaron, got married and has a 4-year-old son, Westin. I stay overnight at Aaron's once a week. Aaron has your drums now and has set some of them up. He is starting to practice the drums and may add on to your set. Peter is OK, but he embraces a rather closed belief system so contact is minimal. He hasn't even met my grandson Westin. The music lives on. I hear the rhythm of your drums, especially in July near your birthday. Rufus is dead and Mom, too. But I guess you already know that. I tell Westin about you and get a kick when he tries to play your drums! Bye, Dad. I miss you and love you. Your daughter, Penny.
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