June 2, 1922 - March 14, 2021
Mr. Thomas “Jim” Lilly, 98, of Peoria, IL passed away peacefully, at 5:35 am on Sunday morning, March 14, 2021, at his residence, surrounded by his loving children. Thomas was born on June 2, 1922 in Lester Arkansas, and was the youngest son of the late Tony & Nellie (Pratt) Lilly. After his WW II tour ended in the army, Thomas was traveling to Detroit to visit his brother; however, after a brief stopover in Peoria in 1945, he met and married Fannie Young on March 7, 1952, a union that lasted 38 years until her death. Thomas raised his family in a neighborhood, fondly referred as “THE HEIGHTS”, for over 70 years. He remained a pillar in the community, a respected gentleman, and a father figure to many. Thomas was a longtime member of Ward Chapel A.M.E. Church where he served as a Layman, Trustee, Steward Pro-Tem, Class Leader, Willing Workers, Gospel Chorus, Men’s Group of Ward, and accompanied Rev. Arthur Williams to serve Communion to the sick and shut-in. Thomas fondly referred to as Uncle Jim or Mister Jim, was loved by all. His kind words, wisdom, or funny stories was given to all who visited. Thomas participated in bowling leagues, loved gardening, and watching baseball games. His favorite team being the Chicago Cubs and was ecstatic about them finally winning the World Series 2016. Thomas leaves to cherish his memory four children; Pamela E. Lilly of Fort Washington MD; Cheryl R. (Rev. Joseph) Anthony of Belleville Illinois; Bonita G. Lilly of Washington DC; and Timothy Paul Lilly Sr. of Peoria Illinois; 16 grandchildren: Joslyn (Adam) Sandifer of Belleville IL; Joseph A. (Talisha) Anthony of Dallas TX; Xynique Lilly of Las Vegas, NV; Jennene (Sean) Smith of Schereville IN; Joya (Oliver) Keys Jr. of Shioh IL; Janell Anthony Belleville IL; Lydia Lilly and Lucille (Samaro) Roberts both of Atlanta GA, Ramon Pastoriza Sr. of St. Louis, MO; Christine Lilly of Los Angeles CA; Makauia Lilly; MaKayla Scruggs-Lilly and Timothy Paul Lilly Jr., of Phoenix, AZ; Jerome David Lilly IL; Elton Mackey IL, and Lauren Thomas of Peoria IL; Kimberly Lilly, daughter-in-law of Centralia IL; and Araminta Young of Northfield NJ. PROUD great-grandfather of 17 and great-great grandfather of 2. Also, he was loved and respected by a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fannie Lilly, and three sons, Jerome David Lilly Sr., Thomas Lilly Jr. and Fred Lilly. His favorite saying/mantra is “Do the best you can” in which he exhibited each and every day. “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr. This is Thomas “Jim” Lilly, Our Patriarch, the Man we will always Honor, Love, and Respect! A private funeral service will be held at 10 am on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at Ward Chapel A.M.E. Church with a visitation beginning prior at 9 am. Pastor Adrian Johnson will officiate and Rev. Joseph Anthony, IV, of the Potters House of North Dallas (Frisco TX) will eulogize his grandfather. Thomas will be laid to rest at Lutheran Cemetery. Simons Mortuary has been entrusted with arrangements. Online Condolences may be made at SimonsMortuary.com. The service will be live streamed on Simons Mortuary's Website or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Simons-Mortuary-232095303487150 promptly AT THE TIME OF THE SERVICE. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, social distancing and attendance limits will be observed. In accordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Funerals are limited to no more than 50% of the capacity of the or less. To be consistent with recommendations from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), funeral home directors have been instructed and should follow CDC guidelines on gatherings, including those directly related to funerals, visitations, or graveside services. Funerals are limited to no more than 50% of the decedent’s immediate family members. *In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we ask that everyone in attendance: wear a face mask and refrain from hugging, kissing and shaking hands (as hard as it is to see someone you care about and not touch them). *It is our responsibility as a Funeral Directors, to do everything we can to advise families in order to honor our beloved Families and to keep everyone as safe as possible. The sanctuary can socially distance and seat 50% of the capacity of the church. All others will be able to flow through prior to beginning of the service. Thanks in advance for your cooperation!
Mr. Thomas “Jim” Lilly, 98, of Peoria, IL passed away peacefully, at 5:35 am on Sunday morning, March 14, 2021, at his residence, surrounded by his loving children. Thomas was born on June 2, 1922 in Lester Arkansas, and was... View Obituary & Service Information
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