Danville – Wilber Eugene Lilly, 74, passed from this life on Saturday April 18, 2020 while at home with his family.
Gene, or Preacher Gene as he was known by some, was born on his grandfather’s farm in Cool Ridge, WV on March 29, 1946 and was proud to be a Mountaineer. He preached at several churches around Ohio for almost 50 years including Mansfield, Polk, Danville, Holmesville, and others, and was at the Millwood Church of Christ for over 23 years.
He is survived by his faithful wife of 57 years, Carolyn, their six wonderful girls, Sherry (Bryan) White of Marion, Pam (Larry) Fry of Fredericktown, Patty (Johnny) Lilly of Mount Vernon, Amy (Jimmy) Lacy of Millwood, Carol (Will) Newbold of Danville, and Rachel (Cris) Cline of Howard. Gene and Carolyn have 11 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. His surviving siblings are Roman Lilly of Fort Payne, AL, Linda Sue Lilly of Spanishburg, WV, half brother, Bobby Lilly, and half sister, Debbie Gates both of Galion, step brother, Jim Harvey of The Villages, FL, and step brother, Roger Harvey of Cool Ridge, WV.
Preceding Gene in death were his parents, Denver and Ilene (Gore) Lilly, sisters, Alma Evans and Libby McNutt, brother, Dale Lilly, half brother, Tommy Lilly, and step sisters, Sharon Harvey and Sherry Harvey.
Gene could do about anything and was never afraid to try. His dad always said, “Son, you won’t learn any younger.” He worked as a construction worker and built several houses. He also started a metal fabrication shop in Morrow County (Lilly Industries) where he designed and built wood burning stoves. His design received an 85% effective rating. He also held two patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that were shared with the late David A. Rogers.
Gene loved hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family. He loved watching his granddaughters play ball. He will be dearly missed, but says “Come see me in Heaven!”
A private interment will take place in Mt. Vernon Memorial Gardens. Matt McManaway will have the committal service. A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at a later date to be announced at the Millwood Church of Christ.
Memorial contributions can be made to the church, 10900 Millersburg Rd, Howard, OH 43028. The Fischer Funeral Home in Danville is handling arrangements. The obituary is available at fischerfuneralhome.com, where condolences can be shared with the family.