Thomas G. Lilley, 85, of Carbondale and formerly of Alto Pass, left this world at 7:35 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Tom was born July 28, 1927, in Alto Pass to Hubert Jesse (Hode) and Mary Ann (Milton) Lilley. He married Mildred Catherine Hickam on April 2, 1949, in Osceola, Ark. They were blessed with five children: Pam (Gary) Ratley of Galatia, Debbie Fears of Anna, Terry (Cathy) Lilley of Murphysboro, Tom Lilley (deceased), and Beth (Gary) Hart of Murphysboro. They also have ten grandchildren: Gary (Julia) Ratley Jr, Terry (Hetti Brown) Lilley Jr., Jennifer Ratley, Christina (Kirk) Hagene, Ami (Van) Plexico, Chris Fears, Amanda (Mark) Kirk, Melissa (Doug Boecklen) Lilley, Jeremiah (Paige) Lilley, and Steven Lilley. In addition, they also have 18 great-grandchildren: Brian, Rebecca, Emily, Kristen, Olivia, Thomas, Allie, Lydia, Aaron, Brianna, Katie, Sarah, Addie, Calvin, Maddie, Mira, Clayton and Maddison with Ivy Jean to be born in March of 2013.
Other survivors include stepbrothers, Sonny and Tom Myers; stepsisters Irma Frick, Shirley Osladil and Betty Cacioppo; brothers-in-law, Phillip (Helen) Hickam, John (Delores) Hickam; sisters-in-law, Verena Wilkerson, Stella (Bill) Tegal and Connie (Carter) Cottrell; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his stepfather Clifford Myers; his brother and sister-in-law, James H. Lilley and Ruby Lilley; step-brother Butch Myers and his son Thomas H. Lilley.
Tom was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., and served overseas at Camp Chickamauga in Beppu, Japan.
He worked for GTE from 1949 to 1982, starting as a lineman and retiring as a supervisor. He worked in Anna, Sandwich, Carmi, Harrisburg and Carbondale. After he retired from GTE, he worked at SIU as a telephone installation inspector.
He found great joy in working in his beautiful garden and yard. He also loved to fish, spending several weeks at a time at Lake Barkley fishing and camping with his wife Mildred.
Tom accepted Christ on August 2, 2002. He was baptized on Nov. 17, 2002, exactly 10 years before he went home to be with his Lord. He was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Alto Pass. He was a past Sunday school superintendent, served on baptismal and pulpit committees, and was honored to serve as deacon. He truly loved Christ, his church and his church family.
The Lilley’s would like to express gratitude and appreciation to the nurses, caregivers and staff at Century Assisted Living in Carbondale and Passages Hospice. Their love and care for both Tom and Mildred will not be forgotten.
Funeral services for Thomas G. Lilley will be held at the First Baptist Church in Alto Pass at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, with the Rev. Mark Kirk, Pastor Steve Raglin and Rev. Cliff Waller officiating. Interment will be in the Alto Pass Cemetery with military funeral rites conducted at the graveside by the Carroll P. Foster Post 3455 of the VFW of Anna and the Illinois National Guard Funeral Honors Team of Marion. Friends may call at the Alto Pass Baptist Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, First Baptist Church of Alto Pass or Passages Hospice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and at the First Baptist Church in Alto Pass.
Page 2 of 2 - Rendleman and Hileman Funeral Home of Alto Pass is in charge of the arrangements.