Veteran Spotlight – Sterling Tilley - Celebration, Florida

Sterling was born 70 years ago in Baltimore, Maryland where he spent his childhood and attended school.

Sterling decided to enlist in the army in 1971 at the age of 21. He served two terms of active duty as a communications specialist. During his tenure in the service, he spent time in South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia and New York in the United States. He also spent time out of the states in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He was honorably discharged in 1995 and achieved the MOS of Communications Chief.

After getting discharged Sterling worked for the United States Postal Service in the Baltimore area.

In 1996, Sterling’s wife Emily was selected as one of the employees at the Social Security Administration Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, to re-locate to a field office position. The assignment she was given was as a paralegal specialist in the Orlando, Florida office. Subsequently, Emily and Sterling re-located to Orlando and have primarily lived here ever since 1996.

Emily and Sterling have three children; two boys and a girl, their oldest son is deceased. Their son, who lives in Virginia, is a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department and just completed an assignment in Nigeria. Their daughter, who lives in Florida, is an IT Specialist with the Walt Disney World Company. In addition, they have six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Sterling enjoys coloring pictures, listening to Jazz and watching various sporting events.

Sterling says Military active duty has changed his life in many ways. In fact, it taught him how to be a team player, showed him the meaning of commitment to responsibilities in all aspects of his life, and to be a better individual, particularly a better family man. It also instilled and cultivated a deep respect for duty, God, and country.

He has worked and served in the church his entire life. Born into the Episcopal faith and remained a member of the Episcopal Church for more than 57 years. However, upon moving to Florida, he found his faith more in line with the Catholic Church. Therefore, he and Emily converted to Catholicism in 2008. Just as he faithfully served in the Episcopal faith, he felt it was his Christian duty to continue to serve God in the Catholic faith as well. Upon moving to the Davenport area, he found Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Celebration to be more aligned with his Christian mindset. Therefore, he and Emily joined Corpus Christi in 2011 and have remained active members since that time.

Sterling is an active member of the Veterans Club of Celebration. He is also a member of the color guard. Whenever he can, Sterling volunteers for many of the club’s activities. If you have ever been fortunate enough to be in the presence of Sterling you realize he brings joy to whatever he is doing and to all the people around him.