Gilbert R. “Moon” Tillett

Published 2:56 pm Saturday, January 27, 2024

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December 17, 1929 – January 21, 2024

Wanchese, NC – Gilbert R. “Moon” Tillett crossed the bar for the last time on January 21, 2024. A native of Wanchese, he was born on December 17, 1929, to the late Leslie R. “Billie” Tillett and Lennie Basnight Tillett. He was known as “Moon” because, as a young boy, he admired the moon and always said he would talk to it. This admiration stayed with him forever.

Moon was preceded in death by his first wife of 49 years, Linda Tillett, in 1998. In 2003, he married Jean Curles Tillett of the residence. Jean was instrumental in his health and care for the last few years. He was also preceded in death by grandsons, Ramey Tillett and Marvin McGahan.

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In addition to his wife, Jean, Moon is survived by his sister, Lois Tillett Gallop of Wanchese; daughter, Starr Winstead; sons, Billy Carl Tillett (Gayle), Craig Scott Tillett (Leslie), and Douglas Curles (Misty); grandchildren, Ryan Tillett (Presley), Farrah Warrick (Chad), Brocke Tillett, Michelle Anderson, Ashley Tyler (Tyler), Walter Davis, Ashley Deweese (Johnathan), Jessica Wood (Woody), Zach Winstead (Jennifer), Levi Curles (Deanna), and Jordy Curles (Tasha); and great-grandchildren, Grayson Rippons, Barrett Tillett, Brooke Tillett, Kyli Warrick, Bryson Warrick, Malori Warrick, Peyton Anderson, Kaden Anderson, Jael Anderson, Lexi Quinn, Jaley Bell, Emma Bell, David Bell, Chase Deweese, Riley Perciful, Savannah Perciful, and G.C. Curles.

Known as one of the original charter boat captains, Moon helped pave the way for what charter fishing is to the Outer Banks today. He ended this career in 1965 when he bought his first trawler, the Captain John Duke. He fished commercially up and down the East Coast from Massachusetts to Georgia. In 1975, he purchased another trawler, the Linda Gayle, and in 1977, he began a seafood business, the Moon Tillett Fish Company, selling seafood all over the world. In 1979, Moon purchased another trawler, the Gallant Fox. A strong advocate for the stabilization of Oregon Inlet, Moon spent many tireless hours alongside others trying to promote this cause. In 2012, he received the Living Legend Award.

Earning his 50-year pin in 2023, Moon was a dedicated member of Manteo Lodge #521 A.F. & A.M. Additionally, he was a 30-year member of the Dare County Shriners, an original member of the Oregon Inlet Guides Association, past chairman of the Oregon Inlet Waterway Commission, and a member of the North Carolina Fisheries Association.

The family received friends and relatives from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at Twiford Colony Chapel, Manteo. A funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at Bethany Church of Wanchese, with Pastor Kenny Midgett and Pastor Jerald Craddock officiating. A graveside committal service in Tillett Cemetery followed.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Moon may be made to the Dare County Shrine Club (111 Old State Rd 345, Manteo, NC 27954,

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at