Obituary for Oren Ray Lily
Oren Ray Lilly, 86, of Clarksville, Tennessee, formerly a long-time resident of Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee died at the Tennessee Veterans Home, in the early hours of Sunday, February 4, 2018.
Born in Loudon Township, Fayette County, Illinois on November 17, 1931 to Jefferson Davis and Mary Hazel (Long) Lilly, he attended country schools and was graduated from St. Elmo Community High School in the Class of 1949. He soon enlisted in the United States Army – a decision that would take him to war, across the world and into the arms of the love of his life.
While in service, Oren met another GI by the name of Cora Lee “Ann” Anderson, who was an Army medic. They fell in love and married in Seattle, Washington on June 6, 1953. Their journey took them through 61 years of marriage until Ann’s passing on October 15, 2014. While in the service, two sons were born to their loving union, William Ray in 1954 and John Henry in 1962.
Oren faithfully served in the United States Army from 1950 until receiving his honorable discharge in 1976, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant (E-8). He was a combat veteran of the Korean War, serving in the famed 2nd Infantry Division. His other overseas duty stations included Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands and Heidelberg, Germany. Domestic duty stations included assignments in Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Georgia. His final duty station was with the HHC 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) FORSCOM at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A decorated soldier, his military commendations included the Good Conduct Medal (7th award), Combat Infantryman Badge, National Defense Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Career Counselor Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (with 2 Campaign stars), 8 Service Stripes, and an Award for Reenlistment and Overall Excellence.
Oren was a proud and loyal Freemason, having received his Masonic degrees in a military lodge in Germany. He was also a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner.
Upon his military retirement in 1976, Oren and Ann purchased a farm in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee, where they would spend the next 40+ years. He engaged in a successful career as a businessman and gentleman farmer, owning several businesses and cultivating tobacco and other commodities. After fully retiring from his business endeavors, Oren and Ann enjoyed traveling and spending time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who were truly the lights of their lives. Oren was known for his booming voice, sense of humor and intelligence.
He is survived by his sons, William Ray (Celeste) Lilly of Jackson, Louisiana and John Henry (Sandra) Lilly of Nashville, Tennessee; grandchildren, Jeb (Courtney) Lilly of Clarksville, Tennessee, Zeke (Maggie) Lilly of Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee, Grace (Gabriel) Vasquez of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Oren Christopher Lilly of Springfield, Louisiana; great-grandchildren, Gavin, Haley, Adisyn, Lucas, Lucee, Loren and Isabella; a brother, William Henry (Bill) Lilly of Crestview, Florida; half-sisters Lora (Richard) Brown of Eugene, Oregon, Betty (Lonnie) Amman of Trimble, Missouri, Donna (Michael) Scott of Greenville, Illinois, and Tommy Elam of New Johnsonville, Tennessee; step-sisters Opal Baker of Effingham, Illinois, Doris ‘Doy’ Peters of Altamont, Illinois, Bonnie Kemme of Beecher City, Illinois; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and others who were touched by his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jefferson Davis Lilly and Mary Hazel Lilly Conner; in-laws, John “Flat” and Birdie Eaton Anderson; step-mother, Lucille Doty Phillips Lilly; sister, Dolores Joanne Meyer Stever; sister-in-law, Carol Gilbert Lilly; and step-brothers, Myron ‘Bob’ Phillips and Larry Dale Phillips.
Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You stood your post ‘til the final bell.
Visitation for Mr. Lilly will be held Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 10:00am-12:00pm at McReyonlds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home, 1209 Madison Street, Clarksville, Tennessee, with funeral services, at the same location, at 12:00pm. Chaplain Chris Hill will officiate. Interment aside his loving wife, with full military honors, will take place at 2:00pm, Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Mr. Lilly requests that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (www.stjude.org).
Arrangements are in the care of McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home, 931.647.3371. Online condolences for Mr. Lilly may be directed to www.NaveFuneralHomes.com.