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Obituary for James Daniel Lilley
James Daniel (Jimmy) Lilley, age 80, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Creswell, NC on Friday afternoon, September 4, 2020. He was born on July 10, 1940, in Martin County, NC to Daniel Benjamin Lilley and Mary Harris Lilley.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brother (Joseph Benjamin Lilley) and sisters (Mary Sue Jones and Martha Lou Lilley). He was survived by his wife of 49 years (soon to be 50 in October) Sue Phelps Lilley, daughter (Natalie Dawn Lilley of Apex, NC), and his son (James Daniel Lilley, Jr. of Raleigh, NC) and wife (Melanie Conner Lilley). He had one grandson (eleven-year-old Conner James Lilley), who affectionately knew him as Pop-Pop.
Jimmy was a graduate of Bear Grass High School prior to enlisting to serve his country in the United States Army. After completing his time there, he eventually gained employment at Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill in Plymouth, NC, where he first laid his eyes on his future life love Sue. Jimmy worked at Weyerhaeuser for 39 1/2 years, up until his retirement in 2006. Outside of his work life, he was also a longstanding member of Mt. Hermon United Methodist Church, to which he and his family lived next door. His longevity in his marriage, place of employment, and church membership reflect the type of person he was, not shying away from devotion and commitment.
Aside from being a devoted husband and father, Jimmy was an avid UNC Tarheels fan. He began pulling for them in the 1950's, and he loved them until the end. If you ever had a conversation with him about the Tar Heels, you would likely find that he could quickly tell you where he was when key moments occurred in UNC basketball history.
Jimmy was a good-hearted people person, never failing to greet a stranger and find out more about them. He loved to travel with his wife and family, particularly enjoying numerous guided bus tour trips with his wife Sue after retirement.
Jimmy...Dad...Pop-Pop...you will be missed.
Graveside service will be held on Monday, September 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm at Mt. Hermon United Methodist Church, Creswell. Family will receive friends at the graveside following the service and other times at the residence. Family requests that all attending please wear a mask and to social distance. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Mount Hermon United Methodist Church, 951 Weston Road, Creswell, N.C. 27928..
Arrangements are by Maitland Funeral Home, Creswell.