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Thomas “Jim” Lilly – Celebrates 98 Years

On June 2, 2020, Thomas “Jim” Lilly celebrated his 98th Birthday with a parade led by a fire engine. It consisted of approximately 35 cars of family & friends. Thomas’ story began in 1922 where he was born in Camden, Arkansas. He is the youngest son of Tony & Nellie (Pratt) Lilly. After his tour in the army during WW II, Thomas traveled to Peoria in 1945 for a brief family visit. However, he never left Peoria but instead married the late Fannie Young, and through this union, five children were born: the late Jerome Lilly, Sr. (former general manager of CityLink); Pamela E. Lilly; Cheryl R. Lilly-Anthony; Bonita G. Lilly; and Timothy P. Lilly, Sr. Thomas is also the PROUD grand-father and great grandfather of many. Thomas raised his family in a neighborhood, fondly referred to as the “HEIGHTS,” for over 70 years. He still remains a pillar in the Community, a respected gentleman, and a father figure to many. Thomas has been a faithful member at Ward Chapel AME, for over 60 years, where he served as a Layman, Trustee, and Choir Member.

Thomas, fondly referred to as Uncle Jim or Mister Jim is loved by all his nieces, nephews, and friends. His kind words, wisdom, or funny stories are given to all who visit 4007 N. Boulevard.

Thomas has a fondness for bowling, gardening, and watching baseball games, his favorite team being the Chicago Cubs. His favorite saying is, “Do the best you can.”

“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 our Father, Thomas “Jim” Lilly, the man we honor, love, and respect!”