The name of Marie Tillman will never ring a bell until the name of her deceased husband Pat Tillman is mentioned. Pat was the Army Ranger who forfeited a lucrative career in the NFL to join the US Army in the wake of 9/11, only to meet his death in Afghanistan through friendly fire.
After the death of her husband, Maria worked with ESPN New York in events and productions. She is the founder and chief executive officer of a shopping site for children’s wear called Mac & Mia. The website was launched with the assistance of her late spouse to give parents a one-stop source of high-quality kiddies wears without having to waste time going from shop to shop.
Who is Marie Tillman?
Very little is known about Marie Tillman’s background but she was born Marie Ugendi, she is a Californian native and was a student of Leland High School where she was a cheerleader. It was during her days in high school that she met Pat – that lively footballer who was voted most masculine. Though they were so much in love, they ended up going to separate universities, with Pat moving to Arizona State University while Marie went to the University of California, located in Santa Barbara.
The lovebirds finally got married in 2002 following which he enlisted into the military as an Army Ranger. On his own part, Pat Tillman maintained a personal journal where he recorded stuff about family and close friends with his wife Marie Tillman featuring heavily in the content. The deceased ranger said that he had mixed feelings about his enlistment as it would entail leaving his lovely wife behind. However, he believed that the pain of being without Marie would be reduced once they meet at a motel when he would be on leave.
However, their marriage ended on the 22nd of April 2004 when Pat lost his life in Afghanistan and it was then believed that he fell victim to enemy fire. However, the circumstances surrounding his demise was covered by the US army in collaboration with the Bush administration in a bid to maintain their wartime agenda then. It was nearly one year later that the real story behind his death was made public; it was not an enemy fire but an unintentional friendly fire.
On her own part, Marie Tillman was unable to bring herself to confront the Military in the same way as her husband’s family. According to the widow of Pat Tillman, she was unable to stop herself from constantly imagining how her spouse lost his life.
Marie Tillman has one publication to her credit, in the book title The Letter: My Journey through Love, Loss, and Life, The CEO of Mac & Mia talked extensively about her heartfelt grief. She also shared memories she made with her late husband through all the letters that passed between them over the years.
Following her husband’s death, Marie Tillman collaborated with his friends and family to organize a sort of memorial run that soon became a yearly event, funding a college scholarship program. Motivated by the love she witnessed her deceased spouse receive after his demise, Marie decided to join hands with his family in launching a non-profit organization called the Pat Tillman
The major focus of the foundation is to provide veterans and their partners with academic scholarships, aiding 15 to 20 scholarships on a yearly basis.
Did she remarry after the death of Pat Tillman?
Following her husband’s enlistment as an Army Ranger, the duo made the decision to postpone having kids because according to Marie Tillman, she didn’t like the idea of raising children on her own while her husband was away on military service. But then, they never got around to having children till that fateful day when his life was claimed by friendly fire.
It took a very long time but Marie Tillman was able to find love for the second time in the arms of banker Joe Shenton. The duo met at one fundraising event in Chicago through a board member on Pat Tillman’s foundation. They later exchanged marriage vows and in 2012, Marie had their first child together – a son called Mac Patrick, Mac soon became a brother to Francesca Margaret, their daughter who announced her entrance the following year.
Important to note that Shenton was divorced with three children. Even after so many years have passed and she has married and rebuilt her life, people still see her as Marie Tillman. From all indications, Maria has finally settled down to a new life which appears to be working out well.