Tuesday, August 14, 2012

William “Bill” F. Lillis 1922-1985

William “Bill” F. Lillis was born a son of William Francis Lillis and Marie (Dunkel) Lillis, April 8, 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he departed this life November 16, 1985 at the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri having attained the age of 63 years, 7 months and 8 days.  He was baptized May 7, 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He entered the U.S. Navy in November, 1942 at Detroit, Michigan.  He was discharged from the U.S. Navy October 18, 1945 at Treasure Island Naval Base in San Francisco.  He re-enlisted with the U.S. Army January 9, 1950, assigned to the Headquarter Battery, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Calvary Division in Japan; arrived in Korea August 11, 1950.  He was captured near Unsan, North Korea, November 5, 1950, and was released in the “Operation Big Switch” in Korea August 31, 1953.  He retired from the Military June 1, 1968 as Sergeant Major serving a total of 21 ½ years.  During his military career, he received numerous awards and service medals, among which was the Purple Heart.

In July 1977 he became an associate with the Jim Arnold Agency in Waynesville where he worked as long as his health permitted.

He was a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club; member of the Board of Realtors; V.F.W. Post 3176, D.A.V. Chapter No. 49, a member of Retiree Council; and was elected to the City Council in Waynesville, Missouri May 1984- resigned August 1985 due to health reasons.  He was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1980.

He was a person of high integrity, not only in the service of his country, but also in his work, and was a valued citizen of the community.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, November 19, 1985 at 1:00 p.m. in the Waynesville Memorial Chapel, Waynesville, Missouri with Rev. Roger Crossgrove and Rev. Jess Norris officiating.  Burial with full military honors was held in the Vienna City Cemetery, Vienna, Missouri under the direction of the Waynesville Memorial Chapel.

Those serving as escorts were: Jim Arnold, Gene Farnham, Sam Givens, Jack King, John Kinsley, Buel Leuthen, Carlis McClain, and Earl McKinstry.

Honorary pallbearers were: Bill Eaton, Howard Fager, Joseph Morris, Lionel Michaud, Albert Otto and James Thompson.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie of the home; two stepsons, Gary Eads of Jefferson City, Missouri and Greg Eads of Swedeborg, Missouri; one daughter, Lynne Lillis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; two stepdaughters, Elaine Dozier of Springfield, Missouri and Judith Mays of Portland, Oregon; his mother-in-law, Lela Leuthen, and his brother-in-law, Buel Leuthen, both of Dixon, Missouri and many other relatives and friends.

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